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Full text of "Fort Pillow massacre"

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3SrH Co.\GRESS, \ HOUSE OF IIEPRESENTATIVES. 
1st Sc^szoti. 




FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 



May 6, 1864. — Resolved, That forty thousand extra copies of the Report of the Joint Com 
mittee on the Conduct of the War, &c., with the accompanying testimony, in relation to the 
late massacre at Fort Pillow, he printed for the use of the raemhers of this house. 



■JOJXT KESOLUTION directiug tbe Committee on the Conduct of the War to examine iuto the recent attack 

on Fort Pillow. 

Resolved by the Senate and House of li present a tives of the U/.Hed States of America in Congress 
as>t'mblid, That the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War be, and they are hereby, 
instructed to inquire into the truth of the rumored slaughter of the Union troops, after 
their surrender, at the recent attack of the rebel forces upon Fort Pillow, Tennessee ; as, 
also, M-hether Fort Pillow could havo been sufficiently re-enforced or evacuated, and if so, 
■why it was not done ; and th .t they report the f icts to Congiess as soon as po5sible. 

Approved April 21, 1864. 



Mr. GoocH, from the Joint Select Committee ou tho Conduct of the War, 

made the following 

EEPORT. 

The Joint Committee on the Conduct and Expenditures of the War, to whom was 
referred the resolution of Co??gress instructing them to investigate the late 
massacre at Fort Pillow, designated two members of the committee — Messrs. 
Wade and Gooch — to proceed, forthwith to such 'places as they might deem 
necessary, and take testimony. That suh-committee having discharged that 
duty, returned to this city, and submitted to the joint committee a report, with 
accompanying papers and^ testimony. The rcjwrt tvas read and adopted by 
the committee, whose chairman teas instructed to submit the same, icith the 
testimony, to the Senate, and Mr. Gooch to the House, and ask that the same 
be printed. 

P.EPORT OF SUB-COMMITTEE. 

Messrs. Wade and Gooch, the sub-committee appointed by the Joint Com- 
mittee on the Conduct and Expenditures of the War, with instructions to proceed 
to such points as they might deem necessary for the purpose of taking testimony 
in regard to the massacre at Fort Pillow, submitted the following report to the 
joint committee, together with the accompanying testimony and papers : 

In obedience to the instructions of this joint committee adopted on the 18th 
ultimo, your committee left Washington on the morning of the 19th, taking with 
them the stenographer of this committee, and proceeded to Cairo and Mound 
City, Illinois ; Columbus, Kentucky ; and Fort Pillow and Memphis, Tennessee; 
at each of which places they proceeded to take testimony. 

Although your committee were instructed to inquire only in reference to the 
attack, capture, and massacre of Fort Pillow, they have deemed it proper to 
take some testimony in reference to the operations of Forrest and his command 
immediately preceding and subsequent to that horrible transaction. It will 
appear, from the testimony thus taken, thaS the atrocities committed at Fort 



2 FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Pillow were not the result of passions excited by the heat of conflict, but were 
the results of a policy deliberately decided upon and unhesitatingly announced. 
Even if the uncertainty of the fate of those officers and men belonging to colored 
regiments who have heretofore been taken prisoners by tlie rebels has failed tO' 
convince the authorities of our government of this fact, the testimony herewith 
submitted must convince even the most skeptical that it is the intention of the 
rebel authorities not to recognize the officers and men of our colored regiments 
as entitled to the treatment accorded by all civilized nations to prisoners of war. 
The declarations of Forrest and his officers, both before and after the capture 
of Fort Pillow, as testified to by such of our men as have escaped after being 
taken by him ; the threats contained in the various demands for surrender made 
at Paducah, Columbus, and other places ; the renewal of the massacre the morn- 
ing after the capture of Fort Pillow ; the statements made by the rebel officers 
to the officers of our gunboats who received the few survivors at Fort Pillow — 
all this proves most conclusively the policy they have determined to adopt. 

The first operation of any importance was the atta-ck upon Union city, Ten- 
nessee, by a portion of Forrest's command. The attack was made on the 24th 
of March. The post was occupied by a force of about 500 men under Colonel 
Hawkins, of the 7th Tennessee Union cavalry. The attacking force was su- 
perior in numbers, but was repulsed several times by our forces. For the par- 
ticulars of the attack, and the circumstances attending the sun-ender, your com- 
mittee would refer to the testimony herewith submitted. They would state, 
however, that it would appear from the testimony that the surrender was op- 
posed by nearly if not quite all the officers of Colonel Hawkins's command. 
Four committee think that the circumstances connected with the surrender are 
such that they demand the most searching investigation by the military author- 
ities, as, at the time of the surrender, but one man on our side had been injured. 

On the 25th of March, the enemy, under the rebel Generals Forrest, Buford, 
Harris, and Thompson, estimated at over 6,000 men, made an attack on Paducah,. 
Kentucky, which post was occupied by Colonel S. G. Hicks, 40th Illinois regi- 
ment, with 655 men. Our forces retired into Fort Anderson, and there made 
their stand — assisted by some gunboats belonging to the command of Captain 
Shirk of the navy — successfully repelling the attacks of the enemy. Failing 
to make any impression upon our forces, Forrest then demanded an unconditional 
surrender, closing his communication to Colonel Hicks in these words : " If you. 
surrender you shall be treated as prisoners of war, but if I have to storm your 
works you may expect no quarter." This demand and threat was met by a 
refusal on the part of Colonel Hicks to surrender, he stating that he had been 
placed there by his government to defend that post, and he should do so. The- 
rebels made three other assaults that same day, but were repulsed with heavy 
loss each time, the rebel General Thompson being killed in the last assault. 
The enemy retired the next day, having suffered a loss estimated at three hun- 
dred killed, and from 1,000 to 1,200 wounded. The loss on our side was 14 
killed and 46 wounded. 

The operations O'f the enemy at Paducah were characterized by the same 
bad faith and treachery that seem to have become the settled policy of Forrest 
and his command. The flag of truce was taken advantage of there, as else- 
where, to secure desirable positions which the rebels were wnablc to obtain by 
fair and honorable means ; and also to aftbrd opportunities for plundering pri- 
vate stores as well as government property. At Paducah the rebels were guilty 
of acts more cowardly, if possible, than any they have practiced elsewhere. 
When the attack was made the officers of the fort and of the gunboats advised 
the women and children to go down to the river for the purpose of being taken 
across out of danger. As they were leaving the town for that purpose, the 
rebel sharpshooters mingled with them, and, shielded by their presence, ad- 
vanced and fired upon the gunboa's, wounding some of our officers and men. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 6 

Our forces could not return the fire without endangering the lives of the women 
and children. The rebels also placed women in front of their lines as they 
moved on the fort, or Avere proceeding to take positions while the flag of truce 
was at the fort, in order to compel our men to Avithhold their fire, out of regard 
for the lives of the women who were made use of in this most cowardly manner. 
For more full details of the attack, and the treacherous and cowardly practices 
of the rebels there, your committee refer to the testimony herewith submitted. 

On the 13th of April, the day after the capture of Fort Pillow, the rebel 
General Buford appeared before Columbus, Kentucky, and demanded its un- 
conditional surrender. He coupled with that demand a threat that if tha place 
was not surrendered, and he should be compelled to attack it, " no quarter 
whatever should be shown to the negro troops." To this Colonel Lawrence, in 
command of the post, replied, that " surrender was out of the question," as he 
had been placed there hy his government to hold and defend the place, and 
should do so. No attack was made, but the- enemy retired, having taken ad- 
vantage of the flag of truce to seize some horses of Union citizens which had 
been brought in there for security. 

It was at Fort Pillow, however, that the brutality and cruelty of the rebels 
were most fearfully exhibited. The garrison there, according to the last returns 
received at headquarters, amounted to 19 ofiicers and 538 eiUisted men, of whom 
262 were colored troops, comprising one battalion of the 6th United States 
heavy artillery, (formerly called the 1st Alabama artillery,) of colored troops, 
under command of Major L. F. Booth ; one section of the 2d United States 
light artillery, colored, and one battalion of the 13th Tennessee cavalry, white, 
commanded by Major W. F. Bradford. IMajor Booth was the ranking officer, 
and was in command of the post. 

On Tuesday, the 12th of April, (the anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter, 
in April, 1861,) the pickets of the garrison were driven in just before sunrise, 
that being the first intimation our forces there had of any intention on the part 
of the enemy to attack that place. Fighting soon became general, and about 
9 o'clock Major Booth was killed. Major Bradford succeeded to the command, 
and withdrew all the forces within the fort. They had previously occupied 
some intren^hments at some distance from the fort, and further from the river. 

This fort was situated on a high bluff, which descended precipitately to the 
river's edge, the side of the bluff on the river side being covered with trees, 
bushes, and fallen timber. Extending back from the river, on either side of the 
fort, was a ravine or hollow — the one below the fort containing several private 
stores and some dwellings, constituting what was called the town. At the 
mouth of that ravine, and on the river bank, were some government buildings 
containing commissary and quartermaster's stores. The ravine above the fort 
was known as Cold Creek ravine, the sides being covered with trees and bushes. 
To the right, or below and a little to the front of the fort, was a level piece of 
ground, not quite so elevated as the fort itself, on which had been erected some 
log huts or shanties, which Avere occupied by the white troops, and also used for 
hospital and other purposes. Within the fort tents had been erected, Avith 
board floors, for the use of the colored troops. There were six pieces of artillery 
in the fort, consisting of two 6-pounders, two 12-pounder hoAvitzers, and tAvo 
10-pounder Parrots. 

The rebels continued their attack, but, up to tAvo or three o'clock in the after- 
noon, they had not gained any decisive success. Our troops, both white and 
black, fought most bravely, and Avere in good spirits. The gunboat No. 7, (New 
Era,) Captain Marshall, took part in the conflict, shelling the enemy as oppor- 
tunity offei-ed. Signals had been agreed upon by which the officers in the fort 
could indicate where the guns of the boat could be most effective. There being 
but one gunboat there, no permanent impression appears to have been produced 
upoij the enemy ; for as they were shelled out of one ravine, they would make 



4 FORT PILLOW MASSACEE. , 

their appearance in the other. They would thus appear and retire as the gun- 
boat moved from one point to the other. About one o'clock the fire on both 
sides slackened somewhat, and the gunboat moved out in the river, to cool and 
clean its guns, having tired 282 rounds of shell, shrapnell, and canister, which 
nearly exhausted its supply of ammunition. 

The rebels having thus far failed in their attack, now resorted to their cus- 
tomary use of flags of truce. The first flag of truce conveyed a demand from 
Forrest for the unconditional surrender of the fort. To this Major Bradford 
replied, asking to be allowed one hour to consult with his officers and the officers 
of the gunboat. In a short time a second flag of truce appeared, with a com- 
munication from Forrest, that he would allow Major Bradford twenty minutes 
in which to move his troops out of the fort, and if it was not done within that 
time an assault Avould be ordered. To this Major Bradford returned the reply 
that he Avould not surrender. 

During the time these flags of truce were flying, the rebels were moving down 
the ravine and taking positions from which the more readily to charge upon the 
fort. Parties of them were also engaged in plundering the government buildings 
of commissary and quartermaster's stores, in full view of the gunboat. Captain 
Marshall states that he refrained from firing upon the rebels, although they were 
thus violating the flag of truce, for fear that, shoxdd they finally succeed in cap- 
turing the fort, they would justify any atrocities they might commit by saying 
that they were in retaliation for his firing while the flag of truce was flying. He 
says, hoAvcver, that when he saw the rebels coming down the ravine above the 
fort, and taking positions there, he got under way and stood for the fort, deter- 
mined to use wliai little ammunition he had left in shelling them out of the 
ravine; but he did not get up within effi'Ctive range before the final assault was 
made. 

Immediately alter the second flag of truce retired, the rebels made a rush from 
the positions they had so treacherously gained and obtained possession of the 
fort, raising the cry of "No quarter!" But little opportunity was allowed for 
resistance. Our troops, black and white, threw down their arms, and sought to 
escape by running down the steep bluff near the fort, and secreting themselves 
behind trees and logs, in the bushes, and under the brush — some even jumping 
into the river, leaving only their heads above the water, as they crouched down 
under the bank. 

Then followed a scene of cruelty and murder without a parallel in civilized 
warfare, which needed but the tomahawk and scalping-knife to exceed the 
worst atrocities ever committed by savages. The rebels commenced an indis- 
criminate slaughter, sparing neither age nor sex, white or black, soldier or 
civilian. The officers and men seemed to vie with each other in the devilish 
work ; men, women, and even children, wherever found, were deliberately shot 
dovv'n, beaten, and hacked with sabres ; some of the children not more than ten 
years old were forced to stand up and face their murderers while being shot ; 
the sick and the wounded were butchered without mercy, the rebels even 
entering the hospital building and dragging them out to be shot? or killing them 
as they lay there unable to offer the least resistance. All over the hillside the 
v/ork of murder Avas going on ; numbers of our men Avere collected together in 
lines or groups and deliberately shot ; some were shot while in the river, while 
others on the bank were shot and their bodies kicked into the water, many of 
them still living but unable to make any exertions to save themselves from 
drowning. Some of the rebels stood on the top of the hill or a short distance 
down its side, and called to our soldiers to come up to them, and as they 
approached, shot them down in cold blood ; if their guns or pistols missed 
fire, forcing them to stand there until they were again prepared to fire. All 
around were heard cries of "No quarter!" "No quarter!" "Kill the damned 
niggers; shoot them down !" All who asked for mercy were answered by the 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 5 

most cruel taunts and sneers. Some were spared for a time, only to be murdered 
under circumstances of greater cruelty. No cruelty wliicli tlic most fiendish 
malignity could devise was omitted by tliese murderers. One wliito soldier 
who was wounded in one leg so as to be unable to v/alk, was made to stand up 
while his tormentors shot him ; others who were wounded and unable to stand 
were held up and again shot. One negro who had been ordered by a rebel 
officer to hold his horse, was killed by him when he remounted ; another, a 
mere child, whom an officer had taken up behind him on his horse, was seen by 
Chalmers, Avho at once ordered the officer to put him down and shoot him, 
v.hich was done. The huts and tents in which many of the Aveunded had 
sought shelter were set on fire, both that night and the next morning, while the 
weunded were still in them — those only escaping who were able to get them- 
selves out, or who could prevail on others less injured than themselves to help 
them out ; and even some of those thus seeking to escape the flames were 
met by those ruffians and brutally shot down, or had their brains beaten out. 
One man was deliberately fastened down to the floor of a tent, face upwards, 
by means of nails driven through his clothing and into the boards under him, so 
that he could not possibly escape, and then the tent set on fire ; another was 
nailed to the side of a building outside of the fort, and then the building set on 
fire and burned. The charred remains of five or six bodies were afterwards 
found, all but one so much disfigured and consumed by the flames that they 
could not be identified, and the identification of that one is not absolutely 
certain, although there can hardly be a doubt that it was the body of Lieuten- 
ant Akerstrom, quartermaster of the 13th Tennessee cavalry, and a native 
Tennesseean ; several witnesses who saw the remains, and who were personally 
acquainted with him Avhile living, have testified that it is their firm belief that 
it was his body that was thus treated. 

These deeds of murder and cruelty ceased v/hen night came on, only to be 
renewed the next morning, v/hen the demons carefully sought among the dead 
lying about in all directions for any of the wounded yet alive, and those they 
found Avere deliberately shot. Scores of the dead and Avounded were found 
there the day after the massacre by the men from sianc of our gunboats who 
were permitted to go on shore and collect the wounde I and bury the dead. 
The rebels themselves had made a pretence of burying a great many of their 
victims, but they had merely thrown them, without the least regard to care or 
decency, into the trenches and ditches about the fort, or the little hollows and 
ravines on the hill-side, covering them but partially Vv'ith earth. Portions of 
heads and faces, hands and feet, Avere found protruding through the earth in 
every direction. The testimony also establishes the fact that the rebels buried 
some of the living with the dead, a few of Avhom succeeded afterAvards in digging 
themselves out, or were dug out by others, one of Avhom your committee found 
in Mound City hospital, and there examined. And CA^en Avhen your committee 
visited the spot, tAvo weeks afterwards, although parties of men had been sent 
on shore from time .to time to bury the bodies unburicd and rebury the others, 
and Avere even then engaged in the same Avork, Ave found the evidences of this 
murder and cruelty still most painfully apparent ; Ave saAv bodies still unburied 
(at some distance from the fort) of some sick men Avho had been met fleeing 
from the hospital and beaten down and brutally murdered, and their bodies left 
Avhere they had fallen. We could still see the faces, hands, and feet of men, 
white and black, protruding out of tlie ground, whose graves had not been 
reached by those engaged in re-interring the victims of thema-sacrc; and although 
a great deal of rain had fallen Avithin the preceding tAvo Aveeks, the ground, more 
especially on the side and at the foot of the bluff where the most of the mur- 
ders had been committed, was still discolored by the blood of our braA-e but 
unfortunate men, and the logs and trees showed bu:: too pl.-r.nly the evidences 
of the atrocities perpetrated tLcr('. 

Many other instances of equally atrocioas crui Ity might b(- enumerated, but 



6 FORT PILLOW JIASSACRE. 

your committee feel compelled to refrain from giving here more of the heart- 
sickening details, and refer to the statements contained in the voluminous testi- 
mony herewith submitted. Those statements were obtained by them from 
eye-witnesses and sufferers ; many of them, as they were examined by your 
committee, were lying upon beds of pain and suffering, some so feeble that 
their lips could with difficulty frame the words by which they endeavored to 
convey some idea of the cruelties which had been inflicted on them, and which 
they had seen inflicted on others. 

How many of our troops thus fell victims to the malignity and barbarity of 
Forrest and his followers cannot yet be definitely ascertained. Two ofiicers 
belonging to the garrison were absent at the time of the capture and massacre. 
Of the remaining officers but two are known to be living, and they are wounded 
and now in the hospital at Mound City. One of them. Captain Potter, may 
even now be dead, as the surgeons, when your committee were there, expressed 
no hope of his recovery. Of the men, from 300 to 400 are knoAvn to have been 
killed at Fort PilloAv, of whom, at least, 300 were murdered in cold blood after 
the post was in possession of the rebels, and our men had thrown down their 
arms and ceased to offer resistance. Of the survivors, except the wounded in 
the hospital at Mound City, and the few who succeeded in making their escape 
unhurt, nothing definite is known ; and it is to be feared that many have been 
murdered after being taken away from the fort. 

In reference to the fate of Major Bradford, who was in command of the fort 
when it was captured, and who had up to that time received no injury, there 
seems to be no doubt. The general understanding everywhere seemed to be 
that he had been brutally murdered the day after he was taken prisoner. 

There is some discrepancy in the testimony, but your committee do not see 
how the one who professed to have been an eye-witness of his death could 
have been mistaken. There may be some uncertainty in regard to his fate. 

When your committee arrived at Memphis, Tennessee, they found and 
examined a man (Mr. McLagan) who had been conscripted by some of Forrest's 
forces, but who, with other conscripts, had succeeded in making his escape. 
He testifies that while tw^o companies of rebel troops, with IMajor 13radford and 
many other prisoners, were on their march frorn Brownsville to Jackson, Ten- 
nessee, Major Bradford was taken by five rebels — one an ofilcer — led about 
fifty yards from the line of march, and deliberately murdered in view of all 
there assembled. He fell — killed instantly by three musket balls, even while 
asking that his life might be spared, as he had fought them manfully, and was 
deserving of a better fate. The motive for the murder of Major Bradford seems 
to have been the simple fact that, although a native of the south, he remained 
loyal to his government. The testimony herewith submitted contains many 
statements made by the rebels that they did not intend to treat " home-made 
Yankees," as they termed loyal southerners, any better than negro troops. 

There is one circumstance connected with the events herein narrated which 
your committee cannot permit to pass unnoticed. The testimony herewith sub- 
mitted discloses this most astounding and shameful fact : On the morning of the 
day succeeding the capture of Fort Pillow, the gunboat Silver Cloud, (No. 28,) 
the transport Platte Valley, and the gunboat New Era, (No. 7,) landed at Fort 
Pillow under flag of truce, for the purpose of receving the few wounded there 
and burying the dead. While they were lying there, the rebel General Chalmers 
and other rebel officers came down to the landing, and some of them went on 
the boats. Notwithstanding the evidences of rebel atrocity and barbarity with 
which the ground was covered, there were some of our army officers on board 
the Platte Valley so lost to every feeling of decency, honor, and self-respect, as 
to make themselves disgracefully conspicuous in bestowing civilities and aWen- 
tion upon the rebel officers, even while they were boasting of the murders they 
had there eommittcd. Your committee were unable to q^certain the names of 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 7 

the officers who have thus inflicted so foul a stain upon the honor of our army. 
They are assured, however, by the military authorities that every effort will be 
made to ascertain their names and bring them to the punishment they so richly 
merit. 

In relation to the re-enforcement or evacuation of Fort Pillow, it would ap- 
pear from the testimony that the troops there stationed were withdrawn on the 
25th of January last, in order to accompany the Meridian expedition under Gen- 
eral Sherman. General Hurlbut testifies that he never received any instructions 
to permanently vacate the post, and deeming it important to occupy it, so that 
the rebels should not interrupt the navigation of the Mississippi by planting 
artillery there, he sent some troops there about the middle of February, increas- 
ing their number afterwards until the garrison amounted to nearly COO men. 
He also states that as soon as he learned that the place was attacked, he imme- 
diately took measures to send up re-enforcements from Memphis, and they were 
actually embarking when he received information of the capture of the fort. 

Your committee cannot close this report without expressing their obligations 
to the officers of the army and navy, with whom they were brought in contact, for 
the assistance they rendered. It is true your committee were furnished by the 
Secretary of War with the fullest authority to call upon any one in the army for 
such services as they might rec^uire, to enable them to make the investigation 
devolved upon them by Congress, but they found that no such authority was 
needed. The army and navy officers at every point they visited evinced a desire to 
aid the committee in every way in their power; and all expressed the highest satis- 
faction that Congress had so promptly taken steps to ascertain the facts connected 
with this fearful and bloody transaction, and the hope that the investigation would 
lead to prompt and decisive measures on the part of the government. Your com- 
mittee would mention more particiilarly the names of General Mason Brayman, 
military commandant at Cairo; Captain J. H. Odlin, his chief of staff; Captain 
Alexander M. Pennock, United States navy, fleet captain of Mississippi squadron; 
Captain James W. Shirk, United States navy, commanding 7th district Mis- 
sissippi squadron; Surgeon Horace Wardner, in charge of Mound City general 
hospital; Captain Thomas M. Farreli, United States navy, in command of 
gunboat Hastings, (furnished by Captain Pennock to convey the committee to 
Fort Pillow and Memphis;) Captain Thomas Pattison, naval commandant at 
Memphis; General C C. Washburne, and the officers of their commands, as 
.among those to whom they are indebted for assistance and attention. 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

B. F. WADE. 
D. W. GOOCH. 

Adopted by the committee as their report. 

B. F. WADE, Chairman. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 



TESTIMONY. 



Cairo, Illinois, April 22, 1864. 

Brigadier General Mason Brayman sworn and examined by the chairman. 

Question. What is your rank and position in the service 1 

Ansv/er. Brigadier General of volunteers ; have been in command of the 

district of Cairo since March 19, 1864. 

Question. What was the extent of your district when you assumed command, 

and what your available force ? 

Answer. The river, from Paducah to Island No. Ten, inclusive, about 160 

miles, and adjacent portions of Tennessee and Kentucky. My available force 

for duty, as appears from tri-monthly report of March 20, as follows : 

Paducah, officers and men 408 

Cairo do 231 

Columbus do 998 

Hickman do 51 

Island No. Ten . . do 162 

Union City do 479 



Aggregate 2, 329 



Question. What v/as the character of yoiu- force and the condition of your 
command at that time ? 

Answer. Three-fourths of the men were colored, a portion of them not mus- 
tered into service, and commanded by officers temporarily assigned, awaiting 
commission. Of the Avhite troops about one-half at the posts on the river were 
on duty as provost marshals' guards and similar detached duties, leaving but a 
small number in condition for movement. The fortifications were in an imfin- 
ished condition, that at Cairo rendered almost useless by long neglect. Many 
of the guns were dismounted, or otherwise unfit for service, and the supply of 
ammunition deficient and defective. A body of cavalry at Paducah were not 
mounted, and only part of those at Union City. I had not enough mounted men 
within my reach for orderlies. 

Question. What is the character of the public property and interests intrusted 
to your care 1 

Answer. Paducah commands the Ohio. In hostile hands, the Tennessee and 
Cumberland rivers are no longer ours. Mound City, eight miles a,bove Cairo, 
is the great naval depot for the western fleet. Gunboats there receive their 
armaments, crews, and supplies. An average of probably $5,000,000 of public 
property is constantly at that point; I found it guarded by, perhaps, fifty men 
of the veteran reserve corps, not referring to gunboats lying there. Cairo, at 
the confluence of the great rivers, is the narrow gateway through which all mil- 
itary and naval operations of the Mississippi valley must be made. I cannot 
compute the amount or value of shipping and property at all times at this point. 
The committee must observe that the loss of Mound City and Cairo would par- 
alyze the western array and navy. The jioints below Columbus and Island Ten 
are fortified places ; Avhile holding them, the rebels had control of the river. It 
required a prodigious effi)rt to dislodge them. To concede to them any point 
on the river, even for a week, Avould bring disaster. Furthermore, the rebels 
now control western Kentucky ; they arc murdering, robbing, and driving out 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 9 

the loyal men ; lliey avow their determination to permit the loyal men to take no 
part in the approaching elections. Unless protected in their eflfort -to protect 
themselves, the Union men mnst give way, and the country remain under insur- 
rectionary control. 

Question. Did you consider your force, as stated, adecjiuate to the protection 
of your district ? 

Answer. Wholly inadequate, considering the interests at stake, and the hos- 
tile forces within attacking distance. 

Question. When did you iirst hear that Forrest was advancing 1 
Answer. On March 23, four days after I took command, Colonel Hicks, at 
Paducah, and Colonel Hawkins at Union City, advised me by telegraph of the 
presence in their neighborhood of armed bands, both fearing an attack. At 
night of the same day. Colonel Hawkins reported Forrest at Jackson, 61 miles 
south, with 7,000 men ; and again that he expected an attack within 24 hours. 
He wanted re-enforcements. 

Question. Had you the means of re-enforcing him ? 

Answer. Of my own command, I had not 150 available men ; however, some 
regiments and detachments of General Veatch's division had arrived and awaited 
the arrival of boats from St. Louis to carry them "up the Tennessee. General 
Veatch had gone to Evausville, Indiana. Simultaneously with the reports 
from Hicks and Hawkins, I received from General Sherman, then at Nashville, 
this despatch : " Has General Veatch and command started up the Tennessee ? 
If not, start them up at once." Down to this time it was uncertain whether 
Union City or Paducah was the real object of attack. Late in the evening I 
applied to Captain Fox, General Veatch's assistant adjutant general, to have 
2,000 men in readiness to move during the night, if wanted, promising to have 
them back in time to embark, on arrival of their transports. I telegraphed 
Hawkins that he Avould receive aid, directing him to " fortify and keep well 
prepared." About 4J o'clock of the morning of of the 24th, I was satisfied that 
Union City was the point of attack. Boats were impressed, four regiments 
were embarked, and I left at ten ; disembarked at Columbus, and arriving v/ithin 
six miles of Union City at four p. m., where I learned that a surrender had taken 
place at 11 a. m., and the garrison marched ofl'. I turned back, and at three 
the next morning turned over General Veatch's men, ready to go up the Ten- 
nessee. 

Question Why did you not pursue Forrest 1 

Answer. For three reasons : First, his force Avas rli cavalry ; mine all in- 
fantry. Secojid, he was moving on Paducah, and, v/Inle I could not overtake 
him by land, I could head him by the rivers. TJiird, ;^nother despatch from 
General Sherman reached me as I was going out from Columbus, prohibiting 
me from diverting the troops bound up the Tennessee from that movement on 
account of the presence of Forrest. My purpose was to save Union City, bring 
in its garrison, and have General Veatch's men back in time for their boats. 
While I was willing to risk much to secure a garrison supposed to be yet en- 
gaged in gallant defence, I could do nothing to mitigate the accomplished mis- 
fortune of a surrender. 

Question. Do you think the surrender premature 1 

Answer. The garrison was within fortifications; the enemy had no artillery. 
A loss of one man killed and two or three wounded does net indicate a desper- 
ate case. The rebels were three times repulsed A flag of truee followed, and 
a surrender. 

Question. How large T»-as the attacking party ? 

Answer. I judge fifteen hundred, the largest portion of Forres t'4 force being 
evidently on the way to Paducah. 

Question. How large was his entire force ? 

Answer. Apparently 6,500. 



10 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE, 

Question, When was Paducali attacked? 

Answer, About 3 p. m. tlie next day, March 25, 

Question. Was Paducah re-enforced previous to the attack ? 

Answer, It Avas not, I had no men to send, but sent supplies. 

Question, Where was General Vcatch's command ? 

Answer. Embarking for the Tennessee, 

Question. Was Paducah well defended ? 

Answer. Most gallantly, and with success. The conduct of Colonel Hicks 
and his entire command was noble in the highest degree. 

Question, How did his colored troops behave 1 

Answer. As well as the rest. Colonel Hicks thus refers to them in his ofSwal 
report : "I have been one of those men who never had much confidence in col- 
ored troops fighting, but those doubts are now all removed, for they fought as . 
bravely as any troops in the fort," 

Question. Why Avas tlie city shelled and set on fire? 

Answer. Our small force retired within the fort ; the rebels took possession of 
the town, and from adjacent buildings their sharpshooters fired upon us. It 
was necessary to dislodge them. The gunboats Peosta, Captain Smith, and Paw 
Paw, Captain O'Neal, and the fort drove them out, necessarily destroying prop- 
erty. Most of the inhabitants being still rebel sympathizers, there was less 
than the usual regret in perfonniug the duty. 

Question, What became of the enemy after the repulse 1 

Answer, They went south, and on the 26th I was notified by Colonel Hicks 
and by Colonel Lawrence that they were approaching Columbus. 

Question. What was done ? 

Answer. I went to Columbus again, with such men as could be withdrawn 
from Cairo, and awaited an attack, but none was made. We were too strong, 
of which rebels in our midst had probably advised them. 

Question. Do you permit rebels to remain v/ithin your lines? 

Answer. Of course ; after they have taken the oath. 

Question, What is done in case they violate, by acting as spies, for instance? 

Answer. I don't like to acknowledge that we swear them over again, but that 
is about what it amounts to. 

Question, What became of your garrison at Hickman ? 

Answer, It was but 14 miles from Union City; too weak for defence, and 
unimportant. Having no re-enforcements to spare, I brought away the garri- 
son. 

Question. Was Union City important as a military post ? 

Answer. I think not, except to keep the peace and drive out guerillas. The 
railroad was operated to that point at the expense of the government, being 
used in carrying out supplies, which went mostly into disloyal hands, or were 
seized by Forrest, The road from Paducah to Mayfield was used by its own- 
ers. Enormous quantities of supplies needed by the rebel army were carried to 
Mayfield and other convenient points, and passed into the hands of the rebel 
army, I found this abuse so flagrant and dangerous that I made a stringent 
order stopping all trade, I furnish a copy herewith, making it part of my 
answer, (Exhibit A.) 

Question, What, in your opinion, is the eff'ect of free trade in western Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee ? 

Answer, Pernicious beyond measure ; corrupting those in the public service, 
and furnishing needed supplies to enemies. I am in possession of intercepted 
correspondence, showing that while the trader who has taken the oath and does 
business at'Paducah gets permits to send out supplies, several Avagons at a time- 
his partner is receiving them Avithin the rebel lines under permits issued by 
Forrest, A public officer is now under arrest and held for trial for covering up 
smuggling of contraband goods under permits, and sharing the profits. Pre- 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 11 

tended loyal men and open enemies thus combined, and the rebel army gets the 
benefit. We are supplying our enemies with the means of resistance. 

Question. Could not the rebels have been sooner driven out of your neigh- 
borhood 1 

Answer. They could by withdrawing men from duties which are presumed tc 
be of greater importance. That point was settled by my superior officers 
Forrest's force was near Mayfield, about equidistant from Paducah, Cairo, and 
Columbus, only a few hours from either. He was at the centre, I going round 
the edge of a circle. I could only watch the coming blow and help each weak 
point in turn. One evening, for instance, I sent 400 men to Columbus, expect- 
ing trouble there, and the next morning had them at Paducah, 75 miles distant 

Question. Had you instructions as to the presence of that force so near you 1 

Answer. Not specific. General Sherman, on the 23d of March, telegraphed 
that he was willing that Forrest should remain in that neighborhood if the peo- 
ple did not manifest friendship, and on April 13 he expressed a desire thai 
Forrest should prolong his visit until certain measures could be accomplished 
I think General Sherman did not purpose to withdraw a heavy force to pursue 
Forrest, having better use for them elsewhere, and feeling that we had force 
enough to hold the important points on the river. It may be that the strength 
of the enemy and the scattered condition of our small detachments was not 
fully understood. We ran too great a risk at Paducah. Nothing but great 
gallantry and fortitude saved it from the fate of Fort Pillow. 

Question. What information had you of the attack of Fort Pillow. 

Answer. Fort Pillow is 170 miles below here, not in my district, but Mem- 
phis. On April 13, at 6 p. m., I telegraphed General Sherman as follows : 

" The surrender of Columbus Avas demanded and refused at six this morn- 
ing. Women and children brought away. Heavy artillery firing this after- 
noon. I have sent re-enforcements. Paducah also threatened. No danger of 
either, but I think that Fort Pillow, in the Memphis district, is taken. Gen- 
eral Shepley passed yesterday and saw the flag go down and thinks it a sur- 
render. I have enough troops now from below, and will go down if necessary 
to that point. Captain Pennock will send gunboats. If lost, it will be retaken 
immediately." 

I was informed, in reply, that Fort Pillow had no guns or garrison; had been 
evacuated ; that General Hurlbut had force for its defence, &c. I understand 
that Fort Pillow had been evacuated and reoccupied, General Sherman not 
being aware of it. On the 14th he again instructed me as follows : 

" What news from Columbus 1 Don't send men from Paris to Fort Pillow. 
Let General Hurlbut take care of that quarter. The Cairo troops may re- 
enforce temporarily at Paducah and Columbus, but should be held ready to 
come up the Tennessee. One object that Forrest has is to induce us to make 
these detachments and prevent our concentrating in this quarter." 

Question. Did you have any conversation with General Shepley in relation 
to the condition of the garrison at Fort Pillow when he passed by that point 1 
If so, state what he said. What force did General Shepley have with him ? 
Did he assign any reason for not rendering assistance to that garrison 1 if so, 
what was it l 

Answer. General Shepley called on me. He stated that as he approached 
Fort Pillow, fighting was going on ; he saw the flag come down " by the run," 
but could not tell whether it was lowered by the garrison, or by having the 
halliards shot away ; that soon after another flag went up in another place. He 
could not distinguish its character, but feared that it was a surrender, though 
firing continued. I think he gave the force on the boat as two batteries and 
two or three hundred infantry. When he came away the firing was kept up, 
but not as heavily as at first. He was not certain how the fight was terminating. 
In ansv/er to a question of mine, he said the batteries on board could not have 



12 FORT PILLOW MAWS ACRE. 

been used, as the bluff was too steep for ascont or to admit of firing from the- 
water's edge, .and the enemy above might have captured them. This was- 
about the substance of our conversation. 

Question. What information have you relative to the battle and massacre at 
l-'ort Pillow, particularly what transpired after the surrender 1 

Answer. That place not being in my district, official reports did not come to 
me. However, r.nder instructions from General Sherman, I detailed ofiicers, 
and collected reports and sworn proofs for transmission to him, also to the 
Secretary of War. Having furnished the Secretary of War with a duplicate 
copy for the use of your committee if he so desired, I refer to that for the in- 
formation I have on the subject. 

Question. Do you consider the testimony thus furnished entirely reliable ? 

Answer. " In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every work be es- 
tablished." Here are scores of them living and dying. There are doubtless 
errors as to time and place, and scenes witnessed from different points of obser- 
vation, but in the main I regard the witnesses honest and their accounts true. 

Question. What did you learn concerning violations of the flag of truce? 

Answer. I learn from official sources that at Paducah, Columbus, Union 
City, and Fort Pillow, the rebels moved troops, placed batteries, formed new 
lines, advanced, robbed stores and private houses, stole horses and other 
property while protected by flags of truce. J. W. McCord and Mrs. Hannah 
Hammond state, in writing, that at Paducah they forced five women nurses at 
the hospital out in front of their line, and kept them there for an hour, thus 
silencing our guns. Mrs. Hammond was one of the five. Reference is made to 
testimony furnished on the subject, and to ofiicial reports when transmitted to 
the War Department. 

Question. What infoi-mation have you as to the intention of the enemy to 
perpetrate such acts as the massacre at Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. I furnish the correspondence growing out of demands to surrender 
at Union City, Paducah, and Columbus, shoAving premeditation on the part of 
officers in command of the rebel army. 

[Take in from reports of Lieutenant Gray, Colonel Hicks and Colonel Law- 
rence, with which the committee is furnished. — See Appendix.] 

Question. Has there been co-operation and harmony among commanders 
since these troubles began ? 

Answer. Entire and in everj^ rcspett, so far as I know. Officers of the army 
in charge of troops temporarily here gave all the aid possible. They were 
under orders which prevented their going out in pursuit of Forrest, but they 
gave me detachments to guard our river posts when threatened. 

Question. What have been the relations existing generally between you 
and Captain Peunock, of the navy, fleet captain of the Mississippi squadron? 

Answer. Captain Peunock is commandant of the naval station at Cairo and 
Mound City, and I understand represents Admiral Porter in his absence. Our 
relations have been cordial, and we have co-operated in all movements. The 
aid given by his gunboats has been prompt, ample, and very efficient. His 
admirable judgment and ready resources have always been available. 

Question. During the operations consequent upon the movements of Forrest, 
did you or did you not receive cordial co-operation and support from Lieuten- 
ant Commander Shirk, commanding the 7th division Mississippi squadron ? 

Answer. I can only repeat my answer to the last question. Lieutenant 
Shirk is an admirable officer, vigilant, brave, and of exceeeingly safe judgment. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 13 

Mound City, Illinois, April 22, 1864. 
Surgeon Horace Wardner swora and examined. 

By blie chairman : 

Question. Have you been in charge of this hospital, Mound City hospital? 

Answer. I have been in charge of this hospital continually since the 25th of 
April, 1S63. 

Question. Will you state, if you please, what you "know about the persons 
who escaped from Fort Pillow 1 And how many have been under your charge? 

Answer. I have received thirty-four whites, twenty- seven colored men, and 
one colored woman, and seven corpses of those who died on their way here. 

Question. Did any of those you have mentioned escape from Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. There were eight or nine men, I forget the number, who did escape 
and come here, the others were paroled. I learned the following facts about that : 
The day after the battle a gunboat was coming up and commenced shelling the 
place; the rebels sent a flag of truce for the purpose of giving over into our 
hands what wounded remained alive; a transport then landed and sent out de- 
tails to look about the grounds and pick up the wounded there, and bring them 
on the boat. They had no previous attention. 

Question. They were then brought under your charge ? 

Answer. They were brought immediately to this hospital. 

Question. Who commanded that boat 1 

Answer. I forget the naval officer's name. 

Question. How long after the capture of the place did he come along 1 

Answer. That was the next day after the capture. 

Question. Did all who were paroled in this way come under yovr charge, or 
did any of them go to other hospitals 1 

Answer. None went to other hospitals 'that I am aware of. 

Question. Please state their condition. 

Answer. They were the worst butchered men I have ever seen. I have been 
in several hard battles, but I have never seen men so mangled as they were; 
and nearly all of them concur in stating that they received all their wounds after 
they had throvv^n down their arms, surrendered, and asked for quarters. They 
state that they ran out of the fort, threw down their arms, and ran down the 
bank to the edge of the river, and were pursued to the top of the bank and fired 
on from above. 

Question. Were there any females there 1 

Answer. I have one wounded woman from there. 

Question. Were there any children or young persons there 1 

Answer. I have no wounded children or young persons from there. 

Question. Those you have received were mostly combatants, or had been? 

Answer. Yes, sir, soldiers, white or colored. 

Question. Were any of the wounded here in the hospital in the fort, and 
wovTuded while in the hospital ? 

Answer. I so understand them. 

Question. How many in that condition did you understand ? 

Answer. I learned from those who came here that nearly all who were in the 
hospital were killed. I received a young negro boy, probably sixteen years old, 
who vv^as in the hospital there sick with fever, and unable to get away. The 
rebels entered the hospital, and with a sabre hacked his head, no doubt with the 
intention of splitting it open. The boy put up his hand to protect his head, 
and they cut off one or two of his fingers. He was brought here insensible, and 
died yesterday. I made a post-mortem examination, and found that the outer 
table of the skull was incised, the inner table v,^as fractured, and a piece driven 
into the brain. 

Question. This was done v^hilo he was sick in the hospital ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, unable to get off his bed. 



14 FORT PILLOW MASSACEE. 

Question. Have you any means of knowing liow many were murdered in that 
way 1 

Answer. No positive means, except the statement of the men. 

Question. How many do you suppose from the information you have re- 
ceived 1 

Answer. I suppose there were about four hundred massacred — murdered there. 

Question. What proportion white, and what proportion colored, as near as 
you could ascertain? 

Answer. The impression I have, from what I can learn, is, that all the negroes 
v/ere massacred except about eighty, and all the white soldiers were killed ex- 
cept about one hundred or one hundred and ten. 

Question. We have heard rumors that some of these persons were buried alive ,■: 
did you hear anything about that ? 

Answer. I have two in the hospitr.l here who were buried alive. 

Question. Both colored men 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How did they escape 1 ,^ 

Answer. One of them I have not conversed with personally, the other I have. 
He was thrown into a pit, as he states, with a great many others, white and 
black, several of whom were alive ; they were all buried iip together. He lay 
on the outer edge, but his head was nearer the surface ; he had one well hand, 
and with that hand he was able to work a place through which he could breathe, 
and in that way he got his head out ; he lay there for some twenty-four hours, 
and was finally taken out by somebody. The others, next to him, v/ere buried 
so deep that they could not get out, and died. 

Question. Did you hear anything about any of them having been thrown into 
the flames and burned? 

Answer. I do not know anything about that myself. These men did not say 
much, and in fact I did not myself have time to question them very closely. 

Question. What is the general condition now of the wounded men from Fort 
Pillow under your charge ? 

Answer. They are in as good condition as they can be, probably about 
one-third of them must die. 

Question. Is your hospital divided into wards, and can we go through and 
take the testimony of these men, ward by ward? 

Answer. It is divided into wards. The men from Fort Pillow are scattered 
through the hospital, and isolated to prevent erysipelas. If I should crowd too- 
many badly wounded men in one ward I would be likely to get the erysipelas 
among them, and lose a great many of them. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Are the wounds of these men such as men usually receive in battle ?' 

Answer. The gunshot Avounds are; the sabre cuts are the first I have ever 
seen in the war yet. They seem to have been shot with the intention of hitting 
the body. There are more body wounds than in an ordinary battle. 

Question. Just as if they were close enough to select the parts of the body 
to be hit 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; some of them were shot with pistols by the rebels standing 
from one foot to ten feet of them. 

The committee then proceeded to the various wards and took the testimony 
of such of the wounded as were able to bear the examination. 

1'he testimony of the colored men is written out exactly as given, except that 
it is rendered in a grammatical form, instead of the broken language some of 
them used. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 15 



Mound City Hospital, 

Illinois, April 22, 1S64. 
Elias Falls, (colored,) private, company A, Gtli United States heavy artillery, 
or 1st Alabama artillery, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Were yon at Fort Pillow v/lien tlie battle took place there, and it 
was captured by the rebels 1 

Answer. I was there ; I was a cook, and was waiting on the captain and 
major. 

Question. What did you see done there ? What did the rebels do after they 
came into the fort? 

Answer. They killed all the men after they surrendered, until orders Avere 
given to stop ; they killed all they came to, white and black, after they had sur- 
rendered. 

Question. The one the same as the other ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, till he gave orders to stop firing. 

Question. Till who gave orders 1 

Answer. They told me his name was Forrest. 

Question. Did you see anybody killed or shot there '? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I was shot after the surrender, as I was marched up the 
hill by the rebels. 

Question. Whei'e were you wounded? 

Answer. In the knee. 

Question. Was that the day of the fight ? 

Answer. The same day. 

Question. Did you see any men shot the next day ? 

Answer. I did not. 

Question. What did you see done after the place was taken ? 

Answer. After peace was made some of the secesh soldiers came around 
cursing the boys that were ivounded. They shot one of them about the hand, 
aimed to shoot him in the head, as he lay on the ground, and hit him in the 
hand ; and an ofiicer told the secesh soldier if he did that again he would 
arrest him, and he went off then. 

Question. Did they burn any buildings ! 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question, Was anybody burned in the buildings? 

Answer. I did not see anybody burned; I saw them burn the buildings; I 
was not able to walk about; I staid in a building that night with some three 
or four white men. 

Question. Do you know anything about their going into the hospital and 
killing those who were there sick in bed ? 

Answer. We had some three or four of our men there, and some of our men 
came in and said they had killed two women and two children. 

Duncan Harding, (colored,) private, company A, 6th United States heavy 
artillery, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Were you in Fort Pillow at the time it was captured? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I was a gunner No. 2 at the gun. 

Question. What did you see there ? 

Answer. I did not see much until next morning. I was shot in the arm that 
evening ; they picked me up and marched me up the hill, and Avhile they were 
inarching me up the hill thpy shot me again thrnugh the thigh. 



IG P^ORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Did you see anybody else shot after they had surrendered ? 

Answer. The next morning 1 saw tliem shoot down one corporal in our 
company. 

Question. What Avas his name? 

Answer. Robert Winston. 

Question. Did they kill him ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What were you doing at the time? 

Answer. I was lying down. 

Question. What was the corporal doing? 

Answer. When the gunboats commenced firing he was started off with them, 
but he would not go fast enough and they shot him dead. 

Question. When you were shot the last time had you any arms in your hands ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Had the corporal any arms in his hands 1 

Answer. No, sir; nothing. 

By the chairman : 

Question. What do you know about any buildings being burned ? 

Answer. I saw them burn the buildings ; and that morning as I was going to 
the boat I saw one colored man who was burned in the building. 

Question. When was that building burned ? 

Answer. The next morning. 

Question. The morning after the capture 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How did you get away ? 

Answer. I started off with the rebels ; we were all lying in a hollow to keep 
from the shells ; as their backs were turned to me I crawled up in some brush 
and logs, and they all left; when night come I came back to the river bank, and 
a gunboat' came along. 

Question. Were any officers about when you were shot last 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you know any of them ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did they say anything against it 1 

Answer. No, sir; only, "Kill the God damned nigger." 

Nathan Hunter, (colored,) private, company D, 6th United States heavy 
artillery, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Were you in Fort Pillow when it was captured 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What did you sec done tlrere 1 

Answer. They went down the hill, and shot all of us they saw ; they shot 
me for dead, and I lay there until the next morning when the gunboat came 
along. They thought I Avas dead and pulled my boots off. That is all I know. 

Question. Were you shot when they first took the fort? 

Answer. I was not shot until we were done fighting. 

Question. Had you any arms in your hands when you were shot? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. How long did you lie where you were shot ? 

Answer. I lay there from three o'clock until after night, and then I went up 
in the guard-house and staid there until the next morning when the gunboat 
came along. 

Question. Did you see any others shot? 

Answer. Yes, sir; they shot down n, v.'hole parcel along with me. Their 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 17 

■bodies Avere lying tliere along the river bank the next morning. They kicked 
some of them into the river after they were shot dead. 

Question. Did you see that ? 

Answer, Yes, sir; I thought they were going to throw me in too ; I slipped 
away in the night. 

By the chairman '. 

Question. Did you see any man burned 1 

Answer. No, sir; I was down under the hill next the river. 

Question. They thought you were dead when they pulled your boots off? 

Answer. Yes, sir; they pulled my boots off, and rolled me over, and said 
they had killed me. 

Sergeant Benjamin Robinson, (colored,) company D, 6th United States 
heavy artillery, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow in the fight there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What did you see there 1 

Answer. I saw them shoot two white men right by the side of me after they 
'Lad laid their guns down. They shot a black man clear over into the river. 
Then they hallooed to me to come up the hill, and I came up. They said, 
"Give me your money, you damned nigger." I told them I did not have any. 
"Give me your money, or I will blow your brains out." Then they told me to 
lie down, and I laid down, and they stripped everything off me. 

Question. This was the day of the fight ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Go on. Did they shoot you ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. After they stripped me and took my money away from 
me they dragged me up the hill a little piece, and laid me down flat on my 
stomach; I laid there till night, and they took me down to an old house, and 
said they would kill me the next morning. I got up and commenced crawling 
down the hill ; I could not walk. 

Question. When were you shot ? 

Answer. About 3 o'clock. 

Question. Before they stripped yon? 

Answer. Yes, sir. They shot me before they said, " come up." 

Question. After you had surrendered ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they shot pretty nearly all of them after they surrendered. 

Question. Did you see anything of the burning of the men ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you see them bury anybody ? • 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did they bury anybody who was not dead ? 

Answer. I saw one of them working his hand after he was buried ; he was a 
l)lack man. They had about a hundred in there, black and white. The major 
was buried on the bank, right side of me. They took his clothes all off but 
his drawers ; I was lying right there looking at them. They had my captain's 
coat, too ; they did not kill my captain ; a lieutenant told him to give him his 
coat, and then they told him to go down and pick up those old rags and put 
them on. 

QiTestion. Did you see anybody shot the day after the battle ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. How did you get away? 

Anawer. A few men came up from Memphis, and got a piece of plank and 
■put me on it, and took me down to the boat. 
Eep. Com. 63 2 



18 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Wer(i any rebpl officers around when tlie rebels \rere killing our 
men 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; lots of tlicm. 

Question. Did they try to keep their men from killing our men ? 

Answer. I never heard them say so. I know General Forrest rode his horse 
over me three or four times. I did not know him until I heard his men call 
his name. He said to some negro men there that he knew them ; that they had 
been in his nigger yard in Memphis. He said he was not worth five dollars 
when he started, and had got rich trading in negroes. 

Question. Where were you from ? 

Answer. 1 came from South Carolina. 

Question. Have you been a slave ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Daniel Tyler, (colored,) private, company B, 6th United States heavy artil- 
lery, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Where were you raised 1 

Answer. In Mississippi. 

Question. Have you been a slave 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you in Fort Pillow at the time it was captured by the rebelsT 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When were you wounded ? 

Answer. I was wounded after we all surrendered ; not before. 

Question. At what time 1 

Answer. They shot me when we came up the hill from down by the rivejj. 

Question. Why did you go up the hill ? 

Answer. They called me up. 

Question. Did you sec who shot you 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I did not know him. 

Question. One of the rebels 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How near was he to you 1 

Answer. I was right at him ; I had my hand on the end of his gun, 

Question. What did he say to you? 

Answer. He said, "Whose gun are you holding?" I said, "Nobody's."" 
He said, " God damn you, I will shoot you," and then he shot me. I let go, and 
then another one shot me. 

Question. Were many shot at the same time ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, lots of them ; lying all round like hogs. 

Question. Did you see any one burned ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you see anybody buried alive 1 

Answer. Nobody but me. 

Question. Were you buried alive 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; they thought they had killed me. I lay there till about 
sundown, when they threw us in a hollow, and commenced throwing dirt on us.. 

Question. Did you say anything ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I did not want to speak to them. I knew if I said any- 
thing they would kill ms. They covered me up in a hole; they covered me 
up, all but one side of my head. I heard them say they ought not to bury a 
man who was alive. I commenced working the dirt away, and one of the 
secesh made a young one dig me (Hit. They dug me out, and I was carried not 
far off to a fire. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 19 

Qiii'Stion. How long did you stay tlieru 1 

Answer. I staid tlioi-c that niglit and until the next moraiug, and then I 
slipped ofi. I liciird them say th(j nigger.s had to go away from there before the 
gunboat came, and that they would kill the niggers. The gunboat commenced 
shelling up there, and they commenced moving off. I heard them np there 
shooting. They wanted mc to go with them, but I would not go. I turncid 
around, and came down to the river bunk and got on the gunboat. 

Question. How did you Ijs" your <'y(; ? 

Answer. They knocked me down with a carbine, and then they jabbed it out. 

Question. Was that before you were shot 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. After you had surrendered ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I wa- going up the hill, a man came down and met me; 
he had his gun in his hand, and whirled it around and knocked me down, and 
then took the end of his cabiue and jabbed it in my eye, and shot me 

Question. Were any of their officers about there then 1 

Answer. I did not see any officers. 

Q.uestion. Were any white men buried with you ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were any buried alive ? 

Answer. I heard that one whifc man was buried alive ; I did hot see him. 

Question. Who said that 'I 

Answer. A young man ; he said they ought not to have done it. He staid in 
there a!l night; I do not know as. he ever got out. 

John Haskins, (colored,) private, company B, Gth United States heavy 
artillery, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow when it was captured 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What did you see done there ? 

Answer. After we had surrendered they shot me in the left arm. I ran down 
the river and jumped into the, water; the Avater ran over my back; six or seven 
more men came around there, and the secesh shot them right on the bank. At- 
night I got in a coal-boat and cut it loose, and went down the river. 

Question. Did you see anybody i Ise killed after they had suiTendered ? 

Answer. A great many; I could not tell how many. 

Question. Did they say why they killed our men after they had siu'rendercd ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. How many did you see killed after they surrendered ? 

Answer. Six or eight right around me, who could not get into the water as 
I did; I heard them shooting above, too. 

Question. Did they strip and rob those they killed ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; they ran their hands in my pockets — they thought I was 
dead — they did all in the same way. 

Questi'in. What time were you shot ? 

Answer. After four o'clock. 

Question. How long after you had smreudered 1 

Answer. Just about the time we ran down the hill. 

Question. Did you have any arms in your hands when you were shot 1 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Do you know anything about their killing anybody in the hospital 

Answer. I could not tell anything about that. 

Question. Do you know anything about their burning buildings ? 



"20 FORT riLLOW MASSACEE. 

Answer. Yes, sir; they burned the lieutenant's house, and they said they 
burned him in the house. 

Question. He was a white man ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; quartermaster of the 13th Tennessee cavahy. 

Question. Did you see them kill him 1 

Answer. No, sir; I did not see them kill him; I saw the house he was in on 
fire. 

Question. Do you know anything about their burying anybody before they 
A\ere dead ] 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Where are you from ? 

Answer. From Tennessee . -^ . 

Question. Have you been a slave 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How long have you been in the army 1 

Answer. About two months. 

Thomas Adison, (colored,) private, company C, 6th United States heavy ar- 
tillery, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. Where were you raised 1 * 

Answer. In South Carolina. I was nineteen years old when I came to Mis- 
sissippi. I was forty years old last March. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow when it was captured ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When were you wounded — before or after you surrendered ? 

Answer. Before. 

Question. What happened to you after you were wounded 1 

Answer. I went down the hill after we surrendered ; then they came down 
and shot me again in my fsice, breaking my jaw-bone. 

Question. How near was the man to you ] 

Answer. Heshot me with a revolver, about ten or fifteen feet off. 

Question. What happened to you then I 

Answer. I laid down, and a fellow came along and turned me over and 
searched my pockets and took my money. He said : " God damn his old soul ; 
he is sure dead now ; he is a big, old, fat fellow." 

Question. How long did you lay there 1 

Answer. About two hours. 

Question. Then what was done with you 

Answer. They made some of our men carry me up the hill to a house that 
was full of white men. They made us lie out doors all night, and said that 
the next morning they would have the doctor fix us up. I went down to a 
branch for some water, and a man said to me : " Old man, if you stay here they 
will kill you, but if you get into the water till the boat comes along they may 
save you ; " and I went off. They shot a great many that evening. 

Question. The day of the fight ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I heard them shoot little children not more than that high, 
[holding his hand off about four feet from the floor,] that the officers had to wait 
upon them. 

Question. Did you see them shoot them 1 

Answer. I did not hold up my head. 

Question. How did you know that they shot them then ? 

Answer. I heard them say, " Turn around so that I can shoot you good ; " 
and then I heard them fire, and then I beard the children fall over. 

Question. Do you know that those were the boys that waited upon the officers 1 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 21 

Answer. Yes, sir ; one was named Dave, and the other Avas named Anderson. 
Question. Did you see them after they were shot ? 

Answer. No, sir ; they toted tliem up the hill before me, because they were 
small, I never saw folks shot down so in my life. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Do you know of anybody being buried alive ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Do you know of any one being burned 1 

Answer. They had a whole parcel of them in a house, and I think they 
burned them. The house Avas burned up, and I think they burned them in it. 

Question. Were the men in the house colored men ? 

Answer. No, sir. The rebels never would have got the advantage of us if it 
had not been for the houses built there, and which made better breastworks for 
them than we had. The major would not let us bui-n the houses in the morning. 
If they had let us burn the houses in the morning, I do not believe they would 
ever have whipped us out of that jplace. 

'Manuel Nichols, (colored,) private, Company B, 6tli United States heavy ar- 
tillery, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Were you in the late fight at Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you wounded there 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. • 

Question. When? 

Answer. I was wounded once about a half an hour before we gave up. 

Question. Did they do anything to you after you surrendered 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they shot me in the head under my left ear, and the morn- 
ing after the fight they shot me again in the right arm. When they came up and 
killed the wounded ones, I saw some four or five coming down the hill. I said 
to one of our boys, "Anderson, I expect if those fellows come here they will 
kill us." I was lying on my right side, leaning on my elbow. One of the black 
soldiers went into the house where the white soldiers were. I asked him if there 
was any watci* in there, and he said yes ; I wanted some, and took a stick and 
tried to get to the house. I did not get to the hoiise. Some of them came 
along, and saw a little boy belonging to company D. One of them had his 
musket on his shoulder, and shot the boy down. He said : " All you damned 
niggers come out of the house; I am going to shoot you." Some of the white 
soldiers said, " Boys, it is only death anyhow ; if you don't go out they will 
come in and carry you out." My strength seemed to come to me as if I had 
never been shot, and I jumped up and ran down the hill. I met one of them 
coming up the hill ; he said " stop ! " but I kept on running. As I jumped over 
the hill, he shot me through the right arm. 

Question. How many did you see them kill after they had surrendered ? 

Answer. After I surrendered I did not go down the hill. A man shot me 
under the ear, and I fell down and said to myself, " If he don't shoot me any 
more this won't hurt me." One of their officers came along and hallooed, 
" Forrest says, no quarter ! no quarter ! " and the next one hallooed, '■ Black 
flag! black flag I'!^ 

Question. What did they do then ? 

Answer. They kept on shouting. I could hear them down the hill. 

Question. Did you see them bury anybody ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they carried me arouifd right to the corner of the fort, and 
I saw them pitch men in there. 

Question. Was there any alive 1 



22 FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Auswer. 1 did not pee lliem Lury anybody alive. 

Qnestion. How near to yon was the man who shot you'under the ear 1 
Answer. Right close to my head. When I was shot in the side, a man 
turned me over, and took my pocket-knife and pocket-book. I had some of 
these brass things that looked like cents. They said, " Here's some money; 
here's some money." I said to myself, "You got fooled that time." 

Arthur Edwards, (eolorcd,) private, company C, 6th United States heavy ar- 
tillery, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Where were you raised ? • 

Answer. In Mississippi. 

Question. Were you in Fort Pillow when it was taken ? 
. Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Tell what you saw there. 

Answer. I Avas shot after I surrendered. 

Question. When? 

Answer. About half past four o'clock. 

Question. Where were you when you were shot ? 

Answer. I was lying down behind a log. 

Question. Where were you shot 1 

Answer. In the head first, then in the shoulder, then in my right Avrist ; and 
then in the head again, about half an hour after that. 

Question. How many men shot at you ? 

Answer. One shot at me three times, and then a lieutenant shot at me. 

Question. Did they say anything when they shot you 1 

Answer. No, sir, only I asked them not to shoot me, and they said, " God 
damn you, you are fighting against your master." 

Question. How near w^as the man to you when he shot you 1 

Answer. He squatted down, and held his pistol close to my head. 

Question. How near was the officer to you when ho shot you] 

Answer. About five or ten fi'ct ofif ; he was sitting on his horse. 

Question. Who said you were fighting against your master? 

Answer. The man that shot me. 

Question. What did the officer say ? 

Answer. Nothing, but " you God damned nigger." A captain told him not 
to do it, but he did not mind him ; he shot me, and run off on his horse. 

Question. Did you see the captain? 

Answer. Yes, sir; he and the captain were side by side. 

Question. Did you know the civptaiu ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Hovr long did you stay there ? 

AnsAver. Until next morning about 9 o'clock. 

Question. Hoav did you get away ? 

AnsAver. When the gunboat commenced shelling I Avent doAvn the hill, and 
staid there until they carried doAvn a flag of truce. Then the gunboat came to 
the bank, and a secesli lieutenant made us go down to such a place, and told us 
to go no further, or Ave would get shot again. Then the gunboat men came 
along to bury the dead, and told us to go on the boat. 

Question. Did you sec anybody shot after they had -surrendered, besides 
yourself? 

AnsAver. Yes, sir; they shot one right by me, and lots of the 13th Tennetoce 
ca\%alry. . 

Q.uestion. After they had surrendered ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Do you knoAV AvhctlJer any Avere buried alive? 



FORT FILLOW MASSACRE. 23 

Autfwi-r. Not that I saw. 
■Qu'^ptiou. Did you see anylj^ly buried? 
Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did y<ai sec anybody shot the day after the fight? 
Answer. No, sir. 

Charles Ry, (colored,) private, company D, 6th United States heavy artil- 
.Icry, sworn and examined. 

By m-. Gooch : 

Question. Where were you raised t 

Answer. In South Carolina. 

Question. Have you been a slaved 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Where did you enlist ? * 

Answer. In Ter.nessee. 

Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow f' 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What did you see done there after the fight was over ? 

Answer. I saw nothing, only the boys run down the hill, and they came 
idown and shot them. 

Question. Were you wounded before or after yon surrendered ? 

Answer. After the surrender, about 5 o'clock. 

Question. Did you have your gun in your hands when you wer.j wounded ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I threw my gun into thi.' river. 

Question. How did they com;- to .-hoot you? 

Answer. I was in the water, and a man cam • dnwn and shot me with a 
revolver. 

Question. Did you see anybody else shot ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; right smart of them, in ;-n old coal boat. I savf OU'- man 
start up the bank after he v/as shot in the arm, and then a ftllow knocked him 
back into the river with his carbine, and then shot him. I did not go up the 
hill after I Avas shot. I laid in the water like I was dead until night, and then 
I made up a fire and dried myself, and staid there till the gunboat came along. 
' Question. Did thi y shoot you more than once ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Henry Christian, (colored,) private, company B, 6th United States heavy 
artillery, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch: 
Question. Where were you raised ? 
Answer. In East Tennessee. 
Queition. Have' you been a slave 1 
Ansv/er. Yes, sir. 
Question. Where did you enlist ? 
Answer. At Corinth, Mississippi. 
Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow I 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When were yon wounded ? 
Answer. A little before we surrendered. 
Question. W^hat happened to you afterwards 1 

Ansvv'er. Nothing; I got but one shot, and dug right oiV, over the hill to the 
I'iver, and never was buthcred any more. 

Quest:on. Did you see any men shot after the place was taken ? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 
•Question. Where ? 



24 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Answer. Dowu to the river. 

Question. How many ? 

Answer. A good many ; I don't know how many. 

Question. By Avhom were they shot? 

Answer, By secesh soldiers ; secesh officers shot some up on the hill. 

Question. Did you see those on the hill shot by the officers ? 

Answer I saw two of them shot. 

Question. What officers were they ? 

Answer. I don't know whether he was a lieutenant or caj)tain. 

Question. Did the men who were shot after they had surrendered have arms 
in their hands ? 

Answer. No, sir ; they threw down their arms. 

Question. Did you see any shot the next morning 1 

Answer. I saw two shot ; one was shot by an officer — he was standing, 
holding the officer's horse, and when the officer came and got his horse he shot 
him dead. The officer was setting fire to the houses. 

Question. Do you say the man Avas holding the officer's horse, and when the 
officer came and took his horse he shot the man down ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw that with my own eyes; and then I made away 
into the river, right off. 

Question. Did you see any buried ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; a great many, black and white. 

Question. Did you sec any buried alive ? 

Answer. I did not see any buried alive. 

Aaron Fentis, (colored,) company D, 6th United States heavy artillery, sworn 
and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Where were you from ? 

Answer. Tennessee. 

Question. Have you been a slave ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Where did you enlist ? 

Answer. At Corinth. 

Question. Who was your captain 1 

Answer. Captain Carron. 

Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What did you see done there 1 

Answer. I saw them shoot two white men, and two black men, after they 
had surrendered. ' 

Question. Are you sure they were shot after they had surrendered ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. Some were in the river swimming out a piece, when they 
were shot; and they took another man by the arm, and held him up, and shot 
him in the breast. 

Qiiestion. Did you see any others shot 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw two wounded men shot the next morning; they 
were lying down when the secesh shot them. 

Question. Did the rebels say anything when they were shooting our men? 

Answer. They said they were going to kill them all ; and they would have 
shot us all if the gunboat had not come along. 

Question. Were you shot ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When? 

Answer. After the battle, the same evening. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 25 

Question. Where were yoix sliot 1 

Answer. Right through both legs. 

Question. How many times were you shot 1 

Answer. Only once, with a carbine. The man stood right dose by me. 

Question. Where were you 1 

Answer. On the river bank. 

Question. Had you arms in your hands 1 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. What did the man say who shot you 1 

Answer. He said they Avere going to kill us all. 

Question. Did you see any men buried 1 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you see anybody burned 1 

Answer. No, sir; I did not see that. Where I was was a good piece off from 
where they had the battle. 

Question. Do you know how many of your company got away ? 

Answer. I do not think any of my company got away. 

Question. How many were killed before they surrendered 1 

Answer. I don't know how many ; a good many, I think. 

Question. Would you have surrendered, if yen had known what they were 
going to do to you ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

George Shaw, (colored,) private, company B, 6th United States heavy artil- 
lery, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Where were you raised 1 

Answer. In Tennessee. 

Question. Where did you enlist 1 

Answer. At Fort Pillow. 

Question. Were you there at the fight ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When were you shot ? 

Answer. About four o'clock in the evening. 

Question. After you had surrendered I « 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Where were you at the time 1 

Answer. About ten feet from the river bank. 

Question. Who shot you ? 

Answer. A rebel soldier. 

Question. How near did he come to you ? 

Answer. About ten feet. 

Question. What did he say to you 1 

Answer. He said, " Damn you, what are you doing here V I said, " Please 
don't shoot me." He said, " Damn you, you are fighting against your master." 
He raised his gun and fired, and the bullet went into my mouth and out the 
back part of my head. They threw me into the river, and I swam arovuid and 
hung on there in the water until night. 

Question. Did you see anybody else shot 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; three young boys, lying in the Avater, Avith their heads 
out ; they could not swim. They begged them as long as they could, but they 
shot them right in the forehead. 
* Question. How near to them were they ? 

Answer. As close as that stone, (about eight or ten feet.) 

Question. How old Avere the boys ? 



'26* FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Answer. Nnt more than fifteen or sixteen years old. Th y were not soldiers, 
but contraband boys, helping us on the breastw. rks. 

Question. Did you see any white men shot i 

Answer. No, sir. I saw them shoot three men the next day. 

Question. How far from the fort ? 

Answer. About a mile and a half; after they had taken them back as 
prisoners. 

Question. Who shot them 1 

AnsAver. Private soldiers. One officer said, " Boys, I will have you arrested, 
if you don't quit killing them boys." Another officer said, " Damn it, let them 
go on; it isn't our law to take any niggers prisoners ; kill every one of them." 
Then a white man took me to wait on him a little, and sent me back to a house 
about two hundred yards, and told rae to stay all night. I went back and 
staid until about a half an hour by sun. Another man came along and said, 
■' If you will go home with mo I Avill take good care of you, if you will stay and 
never leave." I did not know what to do, I was so outdone ; so I said, " If 
you will take care of me, I will go." He carried me out about three miles, to 
•a place called Bob Greene's. The one who took me there left me, and two 
others came up, and said, " Damn you, we will kill you, and not be fooling 
about any longer." I said, " Don't shoot me." One of them said, " Go out and 
hold my horse." I made a step or two, and he said, " Turn around ; I will 
hold my horse, and shoot you, too." I no sooner turned around than he shot 
me in th(^, face. I fell down as if I was dead. He shot me again, and hit my 
arm, not my head. I bid there until I could hear him no more, and then I 
-started back. I got back into Fort Pillow about sun up, and wandered about 
there until a gunboat came along, and I came up on that Avith about ten others. 

Major "William^s (colored,) private, company B, 6th United States heavy 
artillery, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Where were you raised 1 

Answer. In Tennessee and North Mississippi. 

Question. Where did you enlist ? 

Answer. In Memphis. 

Question. Who was your captain ? 

Answer. Captain Lamburg. 

Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Was your captain with you '? 

Answer. No, sir ; I think he was in Memphis. 

Question. Who commanded your company? 

Answer. Lieutenant Hunter and Sergeant Fox were all the officers we had. 

Question. Whr.t did you see done there ? 

Answer. We fought them right hard during the battle, and killed some of 
them. After a time they sent in a flag of truce. They said afterwards that 
they did it to make us stop firing until their re-enforcements could come up. 
They said that they never could have got in if they had not done that ; that we 
had Avhipped them ; that they had never seen such a fight. 

Question. Did you see the flag of truce ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What did they do when the flag of truce Avas in ? 

Answer. They kept coming up nearer and nearer, so that they could charge 
•quick. A heap of them came up after we stopped firing. ^ 

Question. When did you surrender ? 

Answer. I did not surrender until they all run. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 27 

Question. Were you wounded then ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; after the surrender. 

Question. At what time of day Avas that ? 

AnsAver. They told me it was about half after one o'clock. I was wounded 
immediately we retreated. 

Question. Did you have any arms in yoiu- hands when they shot you 1 

Answer. No, sir ; I was an artillery man, and had no arros. 

Question. Did you sec the man who shot you'' 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you hear him say anything 1 

Answer. No, sir ; I heard nothing. He shot me, and it was bleeding pretty 
free, and I thought to myself, " I will make out it was a dead shot, and may be 
I will not get another." 

Question. Did you see any others shot 1 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Was there anything said about giving quarter? 

Answer. Major Bradford brought in a black flag, which meant no quarter. I 
heard some of the rebel officers say : "You damned rascals, if you had not fought 
us so hard, but had stopped when we sent in a flag of truce, we would not have 
done anything to you." I heard one of the officers say : " Kill all the niggers ;" 
another one said : " No ; Forrest says take them and carry them with him to 
wait upon him and cook for him, and put them in jail and send them to their 
masters." Still they kept on shooting. They shot at me after that, but did 
not hit me ; a rebel officer shot at me. He took aim at my side ; at the crack 
of his pistol I fell. He went on and said : " There's another dead nigger." 

Question. Was there any one shot in the hospital that day? 

Answer. Not that I know of. I think they all came away and made a raft 
and floated across the mouth of the creek, and got into a flat bottom. 

Question. Did you see any buildings burned ] 

Answer. I staid in the woods all day Wednesday. I was there Thursday 
and looked at the buildings. I saw a great deal left that they did not have a 
chance to burn up. I saw a white man burned up v/ho was nailed up against 
the house. 

Question. A private or an officer ? 

Answer. An officer ; I think it was a lieutenant in the Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. How was he nailed ? 

An-wer. Through his hands and feet right against the house. 

Question. Was his b;;dy burned? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; burned all over — I looked at him go®d. 

Question. When did you see that ? 

Answer. On the Thursday after the battle. 

Questicn. Where was the man ? 

Answer. Right in front of the fort. 

Question. Did any one else that you know see the body nailed up there ? 

Answer. There was a black man there who came up on the same boat 1 
was on. 

Question. Was he Avith you' then 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; and there were some five or six white people there, too, 
from out in the country, who were walking over the place. 

Alexander Nayrou, (colored,) private, company 0, 6th United States heavy 
artillery, SAVorn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 
Question. Where were you raised ? 
AnsAver. In Mississippi. 



28 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Have you been a slave ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Where did you enlist 1 

Answer. At Lagrange, last August. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the time of the attack ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When were you wounded ? 

Answer. After thi; fight. 

Question. About what time ? 

Answer. About three o'clock, I reckon. 

Question. Where were you when you were wounded ? 

Answer. Down at the river, lying down by the side of a log. They came 
there and told me to get up, and as I got up they shot me. 

Question. Who shot you, an officer or private? 

Answer. A private. 

Question. How many times were you shot ? 

Answer. But once; they shot me in my head, and thought they had killed me 

Question. Did you see any others shot there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; several other black men with me. 

Question. Did you see any small boys shot ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you go back from the river after you were shot 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. You remained there until you were brought away by the gunboat? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I saw several of our boys shot while they were fighting. 
They said, when they shot me, that they were allowed to kill every damned 
nigger in the fort — not spare one. 

Question. You saw nobody buried or burned ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I saw them throw several in the water. 

Question. Were they all dead that were thrown in ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; about dead. 

Eli Carlton, (colored,) private, company B, 6tli United States heavy artillery, 
sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Where were you raised ? 
Answer. In East Tennessee. 
Question. Have you been a slave ? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Who was your master ? • 

Answer. Major Fleming. I was sold once ; I have had two masters 
Question. Where did you join the army? 
Answer. At Corinth, Mississippi, about a year ago. 
Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the time it was taken ? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State what happened there. 

Answer. I saw 23 men shot after they surrendered; I made 24 ; 17 of theni' 
laid right around me dead, and 6 below me. 
Question. Who shot them ? 

Answer. The rebels ; some Avhite men were killed. 
Question. How many Avhitc men were killed ? 
Answer. Three or four. 
Question. Killed by the privates ? 
Answer. Yes, sir ; 1 did not sec any officers kill any. 
Question. Were the Avhite men officers or privates ? 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 29 

Answer. Privates. 

Question. Were the men wlio shot yon near to you ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; ten or fifteen steps off. 

Question. Were you shot with a musket or a pistol ? 

Answer. With a musket. I was shot once on the battle-field before we sur- 
rendered. They took me down to a little hospital under the hill. I was in the 
hospital when they shot me a second time. Some of our privates commenced 
talking. They said, "Do you fight with these God damned niggers?" they 
said, " Yes." Then they said, "God damn you, then, we will shoot you," and 
they shot one of them right down. They said, " I would not kill you, but, God 
damn you, you fight with these damned niggers, and we will kill you;" and 
they blew his brains out of his head. They then went around and counted 
them up; I laid there and made 18 who were there, and there were 6 more 
below me. I saw them stick a bayonet in the small part of the belly of one of 
our boys, and break it right off — he had one shot then. 

Question. Did you see any of our men shot the next day ? 

Answer. No, sir ; but I heard them shooting. I hid myself in the bushes 
before the next morning. I left a fellow lying there, and they came down and 
killed him during the night. I went down there the next morning and he was 
de^. 

Question. Did you see any of our folks buried by the rebels 1 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you see any buildings burned up ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; most all v/ere burned up. 

Question. Were any persons in them when they were burned 1 

Answer. I heard so. I went to the quarters and staid about a house there. 
One of the rebels told me that he should take me out the next morning and kill 
me. He went out and I slipped out into the bushes, and laid there until the 
gunboat came. I saw them take the quartermaster ; they said, •' Here is one 
of our men ; let us take him up and fix him." A white man told me the next 
day that they burned him. 

Question. Was he wounded ? 

Answer. No, sir ; he walked right straight. He had three stripes on his arm. 
I knew him well ; I worked with him. He was a small fellow, weak and puny. 

Sandy Cole, (colored,) private, company D, 6th United States heavy artillery, 
sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Where were you born ? 

Answer. In Tennessee. 

Question. Have you been a slave 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the late fight there? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When were you wounded 1 

Answer. After I started down the hill, after the surrender. They shot me 
through the thigh and through the arm. 

Question. Who shot you ? 

Answer. A secesh private. 

Question. How near was he to you ? 

Answer. About ten feet. 

Question. Did he say anything to you ? 

Answer. No, sir. I went to the river and kept my body in the water, and 
my head under some brush. 

Question. Did you see anybody else shot 1 



30 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I saw some of tlum shot right through the head. 
Question. How many did yon s<e shot? 
Answer. Some seven or (^ight. 

Jacob Thompson, (colored,) swurn and examinr-d. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Were you a soldier at Fort Pillow 1 

Answer. No, sir, I was not a soldier ; but I went up in the fort and fought 
with the rest. I was shot in the hand and the head. 

Question. When were you shot ? 

Answer. After I surrendered. 

Question. How many times were you shot ? 

Answer. I was shot but once ; but I threw my hand up, and the shot went 
through my hand and my head. 

Question. Who shot you 1 

Answer. A private. 

Question. What did he say 1 

Answer. He said, " God damn you, 1 will shoot you, old friend. ' 

Question. Did you see anybody clsi shot? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they just called them out like dogs, and shot them down. 
I reckon they shot about fifty, white and black, right there. They nailed some 
black sergeants to the logs, and set the logs on fire. 

Question. When did you see that 1 
_^ Answer. When I went there in the morning I saw them; they were burning 
• all together. 

Question. Did they kill them before they burned them ? 

Answer. No, sir, they nailed them to the logs ; drove the nails right through 
their hands. 

Queition. How many did you sec in that condition ? 

Answer. Some four or five ; I saw two white men burned. 

Question. Was there any one else there who saw that? 

Answer. I reckon there was ; I could not tell who. 

Question. When was it that you saw them ? 

Answer. I saw them in the morning after the fight ; some of them were- 
burned almost in two. I could tell they were white men, because they Avere 
whiter than the colored men. 

Question. Did you notice how they were nailed? 

Answer. I saw one nailed to the side of a house ; he looked like he was nailed 
right through his wrist. I was trying then to get to the boat when I saw it. 

Question. Did you see them kill any white men ? 

Answer. They killed some eight or nine there. I reckon they killed more 
than twenty after it was all over ; called them out from under the hill, and shot 
them down. They would call out a white man and shoot him down, and call 
out a colored man and shoot him down; do it just as fiist as they could make 
their guns go off. 

Question. Did you sec any rebel officers about there when this was going on 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; old Forrest w^as one. 

Question. Did you know Forrest 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; he was a little bit of a man. I had seen him before at 
Jackson. 

Question. Are you sure ho was there when this was going on ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question, Did you see any other officers that you knew ? 

Answer. I did not know any other but him. There were some two or three 
more officers came up there. 



FORT PILLOV/ 3IASSACRE. 31" 

Question. Did you see any buried there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; tbey buried right smart of them. They buried a great 
many secesb, and a great many of our folks. I tliink tbey buried more secesh 
tban our folks. 

Question. How did tbey bury tbem 1 

Answer. Tbey buried tbe secesh over back of the fort, all except those on 
Fort bill ; them they buried up on top of tbe hill where the gunboats shelled, 
them. 

Question. Did they bury any alive 1 

Answer. I heard the gunboat men say tbey dug two out who were alive. 

Question. You did not see tbem ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. What company did you fight with 1 

Answer. I went right into the foiit and fought there. 

Question. Were you a slave or a free man i 

Answer. I was a slave. 

Question. Where were you raised 'i 

Answer. In old Virginia. 

Question. Who was your master 'I 

Answer. Colonel ^lardgrove. 

Question. Where did you live ? 

Answer. I lived three miles the other sidi; of Brown's mills. 

Question. How long since you lived with him ? 

Answer. I went home once and staid with him a while, but he got to cutting- 
up and I came away again. 

Question. What did you do before you went into the fight ? 

Answer. I was cooking for Go. K, of Illinois cavalry ; I cooked for that com- 
pany nearly two years. 

Question. What white officers did you know in our army 1 

Answer. I knew Captain Meltop and Colonel Ransom ; and I cooked at the 
hotel at Fort Pillow, and Mr. Nelson kept it. I and Johnny were cooking to- 
gether. After they shot me through the hand and head, they beat up all this 
part of my head (the side of his head) with the breech of their guns. 

• 

Ransom Anderson, (colored,) Co. B, 6th United States heavy artillery, sworn 
and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question Where were you raised? 

Answer. In Mississippi. 

Question, Were you a slave ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Where did you enlist 1 

Answer. At Corinth. 

Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow ? . 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Describe whatsyou saw done there. 

Answer. Most all the men that were killed on our side were killed after the 
fight was over. They called them out and shot them down. Then they put 
some in the houses and shut them up, and then burned the houses. 

Question. Did you see them burn ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were any of them alive ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they were wounded, and could not walk. Tht-y put there 
in the houses, and then burned the bouses down. 

Question. Do you know tbey were in there 1 



32 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I went and looked in there. 

Question. Do you know tliey were in there when the house was burned ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I heard them hallooing there when the houses were 
burning. 

Question. Are you sure they were wounded men, and not dead, when they 
were put in there 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they told them they were going to have the doctor see 
them, and then put them in there and shut them up, and burned them. 

Question. Who set the house on fire ? 

Answer. I saw a rebel soldier take some grass and lay it by the door, and set 
it on fire. The door was pine plank, and it caught easy. 

Question. "Was the door fastened up 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; it was ban-ed with one of those wide bolts. 

Sergeant W. P. Walker, (white.) sworn and examined : 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the army ? 

Answer. I was a sergeant in the 13th Tennessee cavalry, company D. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the time of the fight there? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Will you state what took place there ? 

Answer. In the morning the pickets ran in. We were sent out a piece as 
skirmishers. They kept us out about a couple of hours, and then we retreated 
into the fort. The firing kept up pretty regular until about two o'clock, when 
a flag of truce came in. While the flag of truce was in, the enemy was moving 
up and taking their positions; they were also pilfering and searching our quarters. 

Question. They finally took the fort 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What happened then 1 v 

Answer. They just shot us down without showing us any quarter at all. 
^They shot me, for one, after I surrendered ; they shot me in the ann, and the 
shoulder, and the neck, and in the eye. 

Question. How many times did they shoot you ? 

Answer. They shot me in the arm and eye after I surrendered ; I do not 
know when they shot me in the other places. 

Question. Who shot you 1 

Answer. A private shot me with a pistol ; there were a great many of us shot. 

Question. What reason did he give for shooting you after you had surrendered? 

AnsAver. A man came down the hill and said that General — some one ; I 
could not understand the name — said that they should shoot every one of us, 
and take no prisoners, and then they shot us down. 

Question. How did you escape 1 

Answer. They thought they had killed me. They searched my pockets 
half a dozen times, or more, and took my pocket-book from me. 

Question. Did you see anybody else shot after they had surrendered ] 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I saw several shot right around me. 

Question. Did they shoot all, colored and white 1 

Answer. They shot all where I was. When they turned in and went to 
shooting the white men, they scattered and ran, and then they shot them down. 

Question. Did you see them do anything besides shooting them 1 

Answer. I sslw some knock them over the heads with muskets, and some stick 
sabres into them. 

Question. Did you sec anything of any burning or burying alive ? 

Answer. No, sir; I did not see that. 

Question. Were any of the rebel officers about while this was going on ? 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 33 

Answer. Not wliere I was ; I was down under the hill then. The niggers 
first ran out of the fort, and then, when they commenced shooting us, we ran 
down under the hill, and they followed us up and shot us. They came back 
the next day and shot several wounded negroes. 

Question. Did you see that 1 

Answer. I was lying in a house, but I heard the negroes begging, and heard 
the guns fired ; but I did not see it. 

Jason Loudon, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. To what company and regiment did you belong ? 

Answer. To company B, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you wounded there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When? 

Answer. In the evening, after I surrendered. 

Question. Where were you 1 

Answer. At the fort. 

Question. State what happened when you were wounded. 

Answer. Nothing ; only they were going around shooting the men down. 
They shot a sergeant by the side of me twice after he had surrendered. 

Question. Who shot him 1 

Answer. A secesh private. ' 

Question. How near was that to you 1 

Answer. About ten steps ofi". 

Question. Did he say anything to him 1 

Answer. He commenced cursing, and said they were going to kill every one 
of us. 

Question. How many did you see shot after they had surrendered 1 

Answer. I saw five or six shot. 

James Walls, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To what company did you belong 1 

Answer. Company E, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Under what officers did you serve 1 

Answer. I was under Major Bradford and Captain Potter. 

Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State what you saw there of the fight, and what was done after 
the place was captured. 

Answer. We fought them for some six or eight hours in the fort, and when 
they charged our men scattered and ran under the hill ; some turned back and 
surrendered, and were shot. After the flag of truce came in I went down to get 
some water. As I was coming back I turned sick, and laid down behind a log. 
The secesh charged, and after they came over I saw one go a good ways ahead 
of the others. One of our men made to him and threw down his arms. 
The bullets were flying so thick there I thought I could not live there, so I 
threvf down my arms and surrendered. He did not shoot me then, but as I 
turned around he or some other one shot me in the back. 

Question. Did they say anything while they Avere shooting 1 

Answer. All I heard was, " Shoot him, shoot him ! " " Yonder goes one !" 
" Kill him, kill him ! " That is about all I heard. 
Rep. Com. G3 3 



34 FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. How many do you suppose you saw shot after tliey surrendered? 

Ansv/cr. I did not see but two or three shot around me. One of the boys of 
our compatiy, named Taylor, ran up there, and I saw him shot and fall Then 
anotlier was shot just before me, like — shot do'wn after ho threw down his arms. 

Question. Those were white men? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I saAv them make lots of niggers stand up, and then they 
shot them down like hogs. The next morning I was lying around there waiting- 
for the boat to come up. The sccesh would be prying around there, and would 
come to a nigger and say, "You ain't dead, are you?" They would not say 
anything, and then the seccsli would get down off their horses, prick them in 
their sides, and say, "Damn you, you afln't dead; get up." Then they would 
make them get up on their knees, when they would shoot them down like hogs. 

Question. Do you know of their burning any buildings 1 

Answer. I could hear them tell them to stick torches all around, and they 
fired all the buildings. 

Question. Do you know whether any of our men were in the buildings when 
they were burned T 

Answer. Some of our men said some were burned ; I did not see it, or know 
it to be so myself. 

Question. How did they bury them — white and black together 1 

Answer. I don't know about the burying ; I did not see any buried. 

Question. How many negroes do you suppose were killed after the sur- 
render ? 

Answer. There were hardly any killed before the surrender. I reckon as 
many as 200 were killed after the surrender, out of about 300 that were there. 

Question. Did you see any rebel officers about while this shooting was going- 
on? 

Answer. I do not know as I saw any officers about when they were shooting 
the negroes. A captain came to me a few minutes after I was shot ; he was 
close by me when I was shot. 

Question. Did he try to stop the shooting ? 

Answer. I did not hear a word of their trying to stop it. After they were- 
shot down, he told them not to shoot them any more. I begged him not to let 
them shoot me again, and he said they would not. One man, after he was shot 
down, was shot again. After I was shot down, the man I surrendered to went 
around the tree I was against and shot a man, and then came around to me 
again and wanted my pocket-book. I handed it up to him, and he saw my 
watch-chain and made a grasp at it, and got the watch and about half the chain» 
He took an old Barlow knife 1 had in my pocket. It was not worth five cents j 
was of no account at all, only to cut tobacco with. 

William L. McMichael, SAvorn and examined. 

By the chairman: 

Question. To what company and regiment did you belong 1 

Answer. To Company D, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you in the fight at Port Pillow 'I 

Answer. Yes, sin. 

Question. Were you shot after you had surrendered 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. They shot the most after they had surrendered. They 
sent in a flag of truce for a surrender, and the major would not surrender. 
They made a charge and took the fort, and then we threw down our arms ^ 
but they just shot us down. 

Question. Were you shot after you surrendered, or before ? 

Answer. Afterwards. 

Question. How many times were you shot 1 



"fort pillow massacre. 35 

Aiiswer. I was sliot four times. 
Question. Did you see any others slioi ? 
Answer. I saw soQie sliot ; some negroes. 

Isaac J. Leadbetter, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. To company E, 13th Tennessee eavalry. 

Question. How long have you been in the army ? 

Answer. Only about two months. 

Question. Were you at Foi-t Pillow at the time of the fight there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Will you state what took place after the fort was taken 1 

Answer. They shot me after I surrendered. I saw them shoot down lets 
after they surrendered. They would hold up their hands and cry to them not 
to shoot, but they shot them just the same. 

Question. How many do you suppose you saw shot after they had sur- 
rendered 1 

Answer. More than twenty, I reckon. 

Question. Did you hear of the rebels doing anything else to them beyond 
shooting them ? 

Answer. I heard of their burning some, but I did not see it. 

Question. How many times were you shot ? 

Answer. I was shot twice, and a ball slightly grazed my head. 

Question. Were you shot after you had surrendered 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you see the man who shot you ? 

Answer. I saw the man who shot me the last time in the side with a revolver. 

Question. Did he say anything to you ? 

Answer. He did not say anything until he shot me. He then came down to 
where I Avas, and finding I was not dead, he cursed me, and said he would 
shoot me again. He was fixing to shoot me again, when one of the boys stand-^ 
ing by told him not to shoot me again. ^.^ , 

Question. Did they rob you after they had shot you '/ 

Answer. Yes, sir; they took everything I had, even to my pocket-knife. 

Question. You say you heard about the burning 1 

Answer. Yes, sir, I heard about it ; but I did not see it. 

Question. Did you see any of the rebel officers about while this shooting was 
going on ? 

Answer. None there that I knew. I did not see them until they carried me 
up on the bluff. 

Question. Did they shoot any after they fell wounded ? 

Answer. I saw them shoot one man in the head after he fell. 

D. W. Harrison, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. To Avhat company and regiment do you belong 1 

Answer. Company D, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow ? 

Aiiswer. I had been driving a team and acting as a soldier. I took my gun 
that morning and went out in line. They then wanted a train to haul some 
ammunition and provisions in the fort. The rebels were throwing balls around 
there. I kept hauling, I lliink five loads. The rest of the wagons VN-ould not 
go back after they liad hauled one load; and after I had hauled five loads I 



36 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE.* 

concluded I would not haul any more. I went down under tlie hill and got 
Avith two men there close under a log. It was but a few minutes before the men 
came over the hill like sheep over a brush fence, when I saw white men and 
negroes getting shot down. I threw up my hands and said: "Don't shoot me; 
I surrender." One of them said : " Go on up the hill." I started, but did not 
get more than two steps before I was shot in the shoulder. I fell, and while I 
was undertaking to get up again I was hit in the body ; and this arm that was 
hit fell over behind me. A rebel came along with a canteen, and I motioned to 
him and told him I wanted a little water. He said: " Damn you ; I have 
nothing for you fellows. You Tennesseeans pretend to be men, and you fight 
side by side with niggers. I have nothing for you." About that time another 
one came up with his pistol drawn, and asked if I had any money. I told him I 
had a little, and he told me to give it to him. I told him my shoulder was hurt 
and he must take it himself. He turned me over and took about $90 and my 
watch. Another man, who was a man, came along and brought me some water. 
Question. Did you see any others shot after they had surrendered 1 
Answer. Yes, sir. One of the two who Avas under the log with me was 
killed. I don't know whether the other man was killed or not. 

William A. Dickey, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman: 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow when it was taken by the rebels? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. In what company and regiment 1 

Answer. Company B, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Will you state what happened there, especially after the fort was 
taken? 

Answer. After the breastworks were charged I first noticed the colored 
soldiers throwing down their arms and running down the bluflf. After the rebs 
got inside the Avhite troops saw that there was no mercy shown, and they threw 
doAvn their arms and ran down the bluff, too; and they were at the same time 
shot and butchered. I ran myself, but carried my gun with me down the bluff", 
and hid myself behind a tree close to the edge of the river. 1 staid there some 
time, and saw my partner shot, and saw men shot all around me. I saw one 
man shoot as many as four negroes just as fast as he could load his gun and 
shoot. After doing this he came to me. As he turned around to me, I begged 
him not to shoot me. He came to me and I gave him my gun, and he took my 
caps, saying he Avanted them to kill niggers. I begged him to let me go Avith 
him, as I Avould be exposed there; but ho said "No, stay there." He made 
me stay there, and Avould not let me go Avith him. Another man came along, 
and I asked him to spare my life, and he did so. I asked him to let me go 
Avith him, but he refused me and ordered me to st^y Avith my AA^ounded partner, 
Avho was lying in some brush. I craAvled in the brush to him. He was suff'er- 
iug A^ery much, and I unloosed his belt, and took his cartridge-box and put it 
under his head. Some rebels under the hill spied us moving in the brush and 
ordered us to come out. My partner could not come out, but I came out. They 
ordered me to come to them. I started after one of them, begging him at the 
same time not to shoot me. I went, I suppose, eight or ten steps, Avhen he shot 
me. I fell there, and saAv but little more after that. As I Avas lying with my 
face towards the riA^er I saAv some SAvimming and droAA^ning in the river, and I 
saw them shoot some in the river after that. 

Woodford Oookscy, SAA'orn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To Avhat company and regiment do you belong ? 
Answer. Company A, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 



FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 37 

Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; from 6 o'clock in tlie morning until about 4 o'clock in the 
evening. 

Question. State what took place after the fort was taken by the rebels. 

Answer. There were a great many white men shot down, and a great many 
negroes. 

Question. That you saw ? 

Answer. That I saw myself. 

Question. Were you wounded there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. At what time ? 

Answer. After 4 o'clock; after we gave up. 

Question. How came they to shoot you after you had surrendered 1 

Answer. I can't tell ; it was about like shooting the balance of them. 

Question. Do you know who shot you 1 

Answer. It was a white man. He shot me with a musket loaded with a 
musket ball and three buck shot. 

Question. Did you have any arms in your hands when you were shot ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did the one who shot you say anything to you ? 

Answer. I was lying down. He said, "Hand me up your money, you 
damned son of a bitch." I only had four bits — two bits in silver and two in 
paper. I handed it up to him. He said he had damned nigh a notion to hit 
me in the head on account of staying there and fighting with the niggers. He 
heard a rally about the bank and went down there. They were shooting and 
throwing them in the river. A part of that night and the next morning they 
were burning houses and burying the dead and stealing goods. The next 
morning they commenced on the negroes again, and killed all they came across, 
as far as I could see. I saw them kill eight or ten of them the next morning. 

Question. Do you know Avhether any wounded soldiers Avere bu.rned m any 
of those buildings ? • 

Answer. I do not. I was not in any of the shanties after they were fired. 

Question. Did you see them bury any of the dead 1 

Answ^er. No, sir ; I was lying outside of the fort. 

Question. Did they bury the white and black together, as you landerstood ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they Avere burying pretty much all night. 

Question. How many whites and blAcks do you suppose were killed after 
they had surrendered 1 

Answer. I had a mighty poor cKance of finding out. But I don't think they 
killed less than 50 or 60, probably more ; I cannot say hoAV many. It was an 
awful time, I know. 

Question. Hoav many did you see killed 1 

Answer. I saAv them kill three vt'hite men and seven negroes the next morning. 

Question. Did you see them shoot any white men the day after the fight ? 

Answer. No, sir. I saw one of them shoot a black fellow in the head with 
three buck shot and a musket ball. The man held up his head, and then the 
fellow took his pistol and fired that at his head. The black man still moved, 
and then the fellow took his sabre and stuck it in the hole in the negro's head 
and jammed it way doAvn, and said " Now, God damn you, die ! " The negro did 
not say anything, but he moved, and the fellow took his carbine and beat his 
head soft with it. That was the next morning after the fight. 

Lieutenant McJ. Leming, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 
Question. Were you in the fight at Fort Pillow t 
Answer. Yes, sir.. 



38 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

. Question. Wliat is your rank and position ? 

Answer. I am a first lieutenant and adjutant of the IStti Tennessee cavalry. 
A sliort time previous to tlie fight I was post adjutant at Fort Pillow, and 
during most of the engagement I was acting as post adjutant. After Major 
Booth was killed, Major Bradford was in command. The pickets were driven 
in just before sunrise, wdiich was the first intimation wo had that the enemy 
were approaching. I repaired to the fort, and found that Major Booth was 
shelling the rebels as they came up towards the outer intrenchments. They 
kept up a steady fire by sharpshooters behind trees, and logs, and high knolls. 
The major thought at one time they were planting some artillery, or looking for 
places to plant it. They began to draw nearer and nearer, up to the time our 
men were all drawn into the fort. Two companies of the 13th Tennessee 
cavalry were ordered out as sharpshooters, but were finally ordered in. We 
were pressed on all sides. 

I think Major Booth fell not later than 9 o'clock. His adjutant, who was 
then acting post adjutant, fell near the same time. Major Bradford then 
took the command, and I acted as post adjutant. Previous to this. Major 
Booth had ordered some buildings in front of the fort to be destroyed, 
as the enemy's sharpshooters vvcre endeavoring to get possession of them. 
There were four rows of buildings, but only the row nearest the fort was 
destroyed ; the sharpshooters gained possession of the others before they could 
be destroyed. The fight continued, one almost unceasing fire all the time, until 
about three o'clock. They threw some shells, but they did not do much 
damage with their shells. 

I think it was about three o'clock that a flag of truce approached. I went 
out, accompanied by Captain Young, the provost marshal of the post. There 
was another officer, I think, but I do not recollect now particularly who it was, 
and some four mounted men. The rebels announced that they had a communi- 
cation from General Forrest. One of their officers there, I think, from his dress, 
was a colonel. I received the communication, and they said they would wait for 
an answer. As near as I'remcmber, the communication was as follows : 

"Headquarters Confederate Cavalry, 

" Near Fort Pillow, Ajyril 12, 1864. 

"As your gallant defence of the fort has entitled you to the treatment of brave 
men, (or something to that cfiect,) I now demand an unconditional surrender of 
your force, at the same time assuring you that they will be treated as prisoners 
of war. I have received a fresh supply of ammunition, and can easily take your 
position. 

"N. B. FORREST. 
" Major L. F. Booth, I 

" Commanding United States Forces^ 

I took this message back to the fort. Major Bradford replied that he desired 
an hour for consultation and consideration with his officers, and the officers of 
the gunboat. I took out this communication to them, and they carried it back 
to General Forrest. In a few minutes another flag of truce appeared, and I 
went out to meet it. Some one said, when they handed the communication to 
mo, "That gives you 20 minutes to surrender; I am General Forrest." I took it 
back. The substance of it was : "Twenty minutes will be given you to take 
your men outside of the fort. If in that time they are not out, I will imme- 
diately proceed to assault your works," or something of that kind. To this 
Major Bradford replied: "I will not surrender." I took it out in a sealod 
envelope, and gave it to him. The general opened it and read it. Nothing was 
said ; we simply saluted, and they went their Avay, and I returned back into the 
fort. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACEE. 39 

Almost instantly tlie firing began again. We mistrusted, while this flag of 
truce was going on, that they were taking horses out at a camp we had. It 
was mentioned to them, the last time that this and other movements excited 
our suspicion, that they were moving their troops. I'hey said that they had 
noticed it themselves, and had it stopped ; that it was unintentional on their 
part, and that it should not be repeated. 

It was not long after the last flag of truce had retired, that they made their 
grand charge. We kept them back for several minutes. What was called 

brigade or battalion attacked the centre of the fort where several companies 

of colored troops were stationed. They finally gave Avay, and, before we could 
fill up the breach, the enemy got inside the foi;t, and then they came in on the 
other two sides, and had complete possession of the fort. In the mean time 
nearly all the ofiicers had been killed, especially of the colored troops, and there 
was uo one hardly to guide the men. They fought bravely, indeed, until that 
time. I do not thiak the men who broke bad a commissioned officer over them. 
They fought with the most determined bravery, until the <fnemy gained possession 
of the fort. They kept shooting all the time. The negroes ran down the hill 
towards the river, but the rebels kept shooting them as they were running; shot 
3 era c again after they had fallen; robbed and plundered them. After every- 
thing was all gone, after we had given up the fort entirely, the guns thrown 
away and the firing on our part stopped, they still kept up their murderous fire, 
more especially on the colored troops, I thought, although the white troops suf- 
fered a great deal. I know the colored troops had a great deal the worst of it. 
I saw several shot after they were wounded ; as they were crawling arounl, the 
.secesh would step out and blow their brains out. 

About this time they shot me. It must have been four or half-past four 
o'clock. I saw there was no chance at all, and threw down my sabre. A man 
took deliberate aim at me, but a short distance from me, certainly not more than 
1."; paces, and shot me. 

Question. With a musket or pistol ] 

Answer. I think it was a carbine ; it may have been a musket, but my im- 
pression is that it was a carbine. Soon after I was shot I was robbed. A 
secesh soldier came along, and wanted to know if I had any greenbacks. I gave 
liim my pocket-book. I had about a hundred dollars, I think, more or less, and 
a gold watch and gold chain. They took everything in the way of valuables 
that I had. I saw them robbing others. That seemed to be the general way 
th"y served the wounded, so far as regards those v^ho fell in my vicinity. Some 
■of the colored troops jumped into the river, but were shot as fjxst as they were 
seen. One poor fellow was shot as ho reached the bank of the river. They 
ran down and hauled him out. He got on his hafids and knees, and Avas 
crawling along, when a secesh soldier put his revolver to his head, and blew his 
■brains out. It was about the same thing all along^ until dark that night. 

I was very weak, but I finally found a rebel who belonged to a society that 
I am a member of, (the Masons,) and he got two of our colored soldiers to assi.^t 
me up the hill, and he brought me some water. At that time it vris about du-^k. 
He carried me up just to the edge of the fort, and laid me down. There sei nud 
to be quite a number of dead collected there. Thf-y were throwing them into 
the outside trench, and I heard them talking about burying them there. I heard 
one of them say, " There is a man who is not quite dead yet." They buried n 
number there ; I do not know how many. 

I was carried that night to a sort of little shanty that the rebels had occupied 
during the day with their sharpshooters. I received no m;;dical attention that 
night at all. The next morning early I heard the report ■ f cannon down the 
river. It was the gunboat 28 coming up from Memphis; she was shelling the 
rebels along the shore as she came up. The rebels immediately ordered the 
burning of all the buildings, Jind ordered the two buildings where the wounded 



40 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE, 

were to be fired. Some one called to the ofiicer who gave the order and said 
there were wounded in them. The building I was in began to catch fire. I 
prevailed upon one of our soldiers who had not been hurt much to draw me out, 
and I think others got the rest out. They drew us down a little way, in a sort 
of gulley, and we lay there in the hot sun without water or anything. 

About this time a squad of rebels came around, it would seem for the purpose 
of murdering what negroes they could find. They began to shoot the wounded 
negroes all around there, interspersed with the whites. I was lying a little way 
from a wounded negro, when a secesh soldier came up to him and said : 
"What in hell are you doing here V The colored soldier said he wanted to get 
on the gunboat. The secesh soldier said : " You want to fight us again, do you ? 
Damn you, I'll teach you," and drew up his gun and shot him dead. Another 
negro was standing up erect a little way from me; he did not seem to be hm't 
much. The rebel loaded his gun again immediately. The negro begged of him 
not to shoot him, but he drew up his gun and took deliberate aim at his head. 
The gun snapped, but he fixed it again, and then killed him. I saw this. I 
heard them shooting all around there — I suppose killing them. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Do you know of any rebel officers going on board our gunboat 
after she came up 1 

Answer. I don't know about the gunboat, but I saw some of them on board 
the Platte Valley, after I had been carried on her. They came on board, and 
I think went in to drink with some of our officers. I think one of the rebel 
officers was General Chalmers. 

Question. Do you know what officers of ours drank with them ? 

Answer. I do not. 

Question. You know that they did go on board the Platte Valley and drink 
with some of our officers 1 

Answer. I did not see them drinking at the time, but I have no doubt they 
did ; that was my impression from all I saw, and I thought our officers might 
have been in better business. 

Question. Were our officers treating these rebel officers with attention 1 

Answer. They seemed to be ; I did not see much of it, as they passed along 
by me. 

Question. Do you know whether or not the conduct of the privates, in mur- 
dering our soldiers after they had surrendered, seemed to have the approval of 
their officers ? 

Answer. I did not see much of their officers, especially during the worst of 
those outrages ; they seemed to be back. 

Question. Did you observe any efibrt on the part of their officers to suppress 
the murders ? 

Answer. No, sir; I did not see any where I was first carried ; just about dusk, 
all at ouce several shots were fired just outside. The cry was : " They are shoot- 
ing th(' darkey soldiers " I heard an officer ride up and say: " Stop that firing; 
arrest that man." I suppose it was a rebel officer, but I do not knoAv. It was 
reported to me, at the time, that several darkeys were shot then. An officer 
who stood by me, a prisoner, said that they had been shooting them, but that 
the general had had it stopped. 

Question. Do you know of any of our men in the hospital being murdered I 

Answer. I do not. 

Question. Do you know anything of the fate of your quartermaster, Lieuten- 
ant Akerstrom ? 

AnsAver. H<3 was one of the officers v/ho went with me to meet the flag of 
truce the last time. I do not know what became of him ; that was about the 
last I saw of him. I heard that he was nailed to a board and burned, and I 



FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 41 

have very good reason for believing that was the case, althoup;h I did not see it. 
The first lieutenant of company D of my regiment says that he has an affidavit 
to that effect of a man who saw it. 

Question. Have you any knowledge in relation to any of our men being 
buried alive 1 

Answer. I have not, other than I have stated. 

By Mr. Gooch : 
Question. How long had your regiment been in Fort Pillow ? 
Answer. We reached there the Sth of February. There were no other troops- 
there then, and we held the place alone for some time. 
By the chairman : 

Question. By whom were you ordered there 1 

Answer. By General W. S. Smith, chief of cavalry, and also by General 
Hurlbut. 

Question. What other troops were there at the time of the fight ] 

Answer. Four companies of the 6th United States heavy artillery, colored, 
and a battery called now, I think, the 2d United States hght artillery. It was 
before the 1st Tennessee light artillery, colored. 

Question. What was about the number of our force there ? 

Answer. Not far from 500 men. 

Question. Do you know what became of Major Bradford ? 

Answer. He escaped unhurt, as far as the battle was concerned. I was told 
the next morning on the boat that he had been paroled. I did not see him after 
that night. 

Question. Do you know why you were left unsupported, as you were, when 
it was known that Forrest was in your vicinity ? 

Answer. I do not know why, unless it was thought that he would not attack 
us. I think it was supposed that he was going to make an attack on Memphis.. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. What do you estimate Forrest's force to have been 1 

Answer. From all I could see and learn, I should suppose he had from 7,000 
to 10,000 men. 

Question. Is there anything further you desire to state ? 

Answer. I heard some of the rebels talking during the nigh]; after the fight. 
They said we ought to have surrendered when we had the opportunity, but that 
they supposed the Yankees were afraid the colored troops would not be treated 
as prisoners of war ; and they intimated that they would not be ; and said it 
was bad enough to give to the " home made Yankees " — meaning the Tennessee 
soldiers — treatment as soldiers, without treating the negroes so, too. 

On the morning of the fight there was so much hurry and confusion that our 
flag was not raised for a time ; we had been firing away an hour before I hap- 
pened to notice that our flag was not up. I ordered it to be raised immediately, 
and our troops set up vociferous cheers, especially the colored troops, who en- 
tered into the fight with gi-eat energy and spirit. 

Question. How many officers of your regiment were left alive 1 

Answer. Only two, immediately after the surrender, that I know of. We had 
ten officers in our regiment, and eight were in the battle, only two of whom re- 
mained alive. 

Question. Were those who were killed killed before or after the fort was 
captured 1 

AnsAver. I don't know of but one who was killed before we were driven from 
the fort. 

Question. Was Captain Potter, who is now lying here unable to speak, shot 
before or after the surrender 1 



-42 FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Answer. He was shot in the early part of the engagement. I have been told 
that Major Bradford was afterwards taken out by the rebels and shot; that 
.seems to be the general impression, and I presume it was so. 

V Mound City, April 23, 1864. 

Nathan G. Fulks, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To Avhat company and regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. Company D, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Where are jon from I 

Answer. About twenty miles from Columbus, Tennessee. 

Question. How long have you been in the service 1 

Answer. Five months, the 1st of May. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the time of the fight there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Will you state what happened to you there 1 

Answer. I was at the corner of the fort when they fetched in a flag for a 
surrender. Some of them said the major stood a while, and then said he would 
not surrender. They continued to fight awhile; and after a time the major 
started and told us to take care of ourselves, and I and twenty more men broke 
for the hollow. They ordered us to halt, and some of them said, " Cod damn 
'em, kill 'em! kill 'em!" I said, "I have surrendered." I had thrown my 
gun away then. I took oflp my cartridge-box and gave it to one of them, and 
said, "Pon't shoot me;" but they did shoot me, and hit just about where the 
shoe comes up on my leg, I begged them not to shoot me, and he said, "Cod 
damn you, you fight with the niggers, and we will kill the last one of you!" 
Then they shot me in the thick of the thigh, and I fell ; and one set out to 
shoot me again, when another one said, " Don't shoot the white fellows any 
more." 

Question. Did you see any person shot besides yourself ? 

Answer. I didn't see them shot. I saw one of our fellows dead by me. 

Question. Did you see any buildings burned? 

Answer. Yes, sir. While I was in the major's headquarters they commenced 
burning the buildings, and I begged one of them to take me out and not let us 
burn there; and he said, " I am hunting up a piece of yellow flag for you." I 
think we would have whipped them if the flag of truce had not come in. We 
would have whipped them if we had not let them get the dead-wood on us. I 
was told that they made their movement while the flag of truce was in. I did 
not see it myself, because I had sat down, as I had been working so hard. 

Question. How do 3^ou know they made their movement while the flag of 
truce Avas in 1 

Answer. The men that were above said so. The rebs are bound to take 
every advantage of us. I saAV two more white men close to where I was lying. 
That makes three dead ones, and myself wounded. 

Francis A. Alexander, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : , 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong? 
Answer. Company C, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 
Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the fight there 1 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question, Who commanded your regiment ? 

Answer. Major Bradford commanded tlie regiment, and Lieutenant Logan 
vCommanded our comjiany. 

Question. By Avhat troops was the fort att.icked 1 



FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 45 

AnsTrer. Forrest was iu command. I saw liim. 

Question. Did you know Forrest 1 

Answer. I saw him tlaere, and tliej^ all said it was Forrest. Their own men 
said so. 

Question. By Avhat troops was the charge made? 

Answer. They were Alabamians and Texans. 

Question. Did you see anything of a flag of truce? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State what was done while the flag of truce was in. 

Answer. When the flag of truce came up our officers went out and held a 
consultation, and it went back. They came in again with a flag of truce ; and 
while they were consulting the second time their troops were coming up a gap 
or hollow, where v/e could have cut them to pieces. They tried it before, but 
could not do it. I saw them come up there while the flag of truce was in the 
second time. • 

Question. That gave them an advantage? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you wounded there? 

Answer. Not in the fort. I was wounded after I left the fort, and was going 
down the hill. 

Question. Was that before or after the fort was taken ? 

Answer. It was afterwards. 

Question. Did you have any arms in your hand at the time they shot you ? 

Answer. No, sir. I tlnew my gun away, and started down the hill, and got 
about twenty yards, when I was shot through the calf of the leg. 

Question. Did they shoot you more than once? 

Answer. No, sir ; they shot at mc, but did not hit me more than once. 

Question. Did they say why they shot you after you had surrendered ? 

Answer. They said afterwards they intended to kill us all for being there 
with their niggers. 

Question. Were any rebel officers there at the time this shooting was going on ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did they try to stop it? 

Answer. One or two of them did. 

Question. What did the rest of them do ? 

Answer. They kept shouting and hallooing at the men to give no quarter. 
I heard that cry very frequent. 

Question. Was it the officers that said that ? 

Answer. I think it was. I think it was them, the v/ay they were going on. 
When our boys were taken prisoners, if anybody came up who knew them, 
they shot them down. As soon as ever they recognized them, wherever it was, 
they shot them. 

Question. After they had taken them prisoners ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you know anything about their shooting men in the hospitals ? 

Answer. I know of their shooting negroes in there. I don't know about 
white men. 

Question. Wounded negro men ? 

Ansv/er, Yes, sir. 

Question. Who did that ? 

Answer. Some of their troops. I don't know v/hich of them. The next 
morning I saw several black people shot that were wounded, and 'jomc that were 
not wounded. One was going down the hill before me, and the officer made 
him come back up the hill; and after I got in the boat I heard them shooting 
them. 



44 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. You say you saw them shoot negroes in the hospital the next 
morning 1 / 

Answer, Yes, sir; wounded negroes who could not get along; one witli his 
leg broke. They came there the next day and shot him. 

Questi9n. Do you know anything about their bvirning buildings and the 
hospital 1 

Answer. I expect they burned the hospital after we got out. They said they 
would not while we wounded ones were in there. The hospital we were in 
was standing wjien I went down the hill on the boat. 

Question. You don't know what happened to it afterwards ? 

Answer. I don't. 

Question. Something has been said about men being nailed to the buildings, 
and then burned. Do you know anything about that ? 

Answer. No, sir; I did not see that, but I heard some of them say they 
drove the negroes into the houses and then burned them. 

Question. Did you see anything about their burying them ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Wiley Robinson, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 
Question. What State are you from 1 

Answer. Tennessee. 

Question. When did you enlist ? 

Answer. I think about eight months ago. 

Question. How old are you ? 

AusAver. Eighteen years old the 19th of next May. 

Question. What regiment and company were you in 1 

Answer. Company A, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the time of the attack there? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you wounded there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State all about that; when it was, «fcc. 

Answer. I was wounded once in the hand before I suiTendered. 

Question. Were you shot afterwards 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; six times. I was shot twice in the foot, twice in the IegS> 
and twice in the hands. 

Question. Had you arms in your hands when they shot you ? 

Answer. We had retreated to the river bank and thrown down our arms. 

Question. What did they say when they shot you ? 

Answer. They swore at us, and then shot us. 

Question. Did you see any of the rebel officers there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I saw some, who came round and told them to kill us all. 

Question. Did you see them shoot anybody else besides yourself? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw them shoot one white man close beside me. 

Question. Did they shoot you after you were down ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; through the leg with a musket. 

Question. Did you see any negroes shot? 

Answer. No, sir; I did not see any. I fell after they shot me, and did not 
see much. 

Question. Were you there the next day after the fight ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; they took me on board the b®at the next day about ten 
o'clock. 

Question. Do you know whether they killed any persons in the hospital ? 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 45 

Answer. I know tliey killed one of our company in tlie laospital. They said 
they fired into the hospital. 

Question. Do you know anything about their burying anybody alive? 
Answer. No, sir. 

Daniel Stamps, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. Company E, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. What was your position ? 

Answer. I was the company commissary sergeant. 

Question. Where do you reside 1 

Answer. In Lauderdale county, Tennessee. 

.Question. What was your occupation ? 

Answer. I was a farmer. 

Question, Were you at Fort Pillow when the fight was there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State what happened there. 

Answer. The first thing, I went out sharpshooting, and was out about two 
hours, and then was ordered in the fort. I staid there, I reckon, about an hour. 
Then I was called out by Lieutenant Akerstrom to go down alongside the bluflF 
sharpshooting again, because the rebels were coming down Cold creek. We 
staid there all the time until they charged into the fort. Then they all ran. 
down under the hill, and we went down under the hill too. I reckon we staid 
there close on to an hour. They were shooting continually. I saw them 
shooting the white men there who were on their knees, holding up their hands 
to them. I saw them make another man get down on his knees and beg of 
them, and they did not shoot him. I started out to go up the hill, and just as 
I started I was shot in the thigh. Pretty well towards the last of it, before I 
got shot, while I was down under the hill, a rebel officer came down right on 
tx)p of the bluff, and hallooed out to them to shoot and kill the last damned one 
■of us. 

Question. Do you know the rank of that officer? 

Answer. I do not. I can't tell them as I can our officers. Their uniform is 
different. I went round on the hill then. I heard several of them say it was 
General Forrest's orders to them to shoot us and give us no quarter at all. I 
don't know whether they were officers who said so or not. I don't recollect 
anything else particularly that I saw that night. The next morning they came 
round there again, shooting the negroes that were wounded. I saw them shoot 
some 20 or 25 negroes the next morning who had been wounded, and had been 
able to get up on the hill during the night. They did not attempt to hurt us 
white men the next morning. 

Question. Were any of their officers with the men who were round shooting 
the negroes the next morning ? • 

Answer. One passed along on horseback, the only one I saw. He rode along 
while they were shooting the negroes, and said nothing to them. I said, " Cap- 
tain, what are you going to do with us wounded fellows?" He said they were 
going to, put us on the gunboats, or leave us with the gunboats. He had a 
feather in his cap, and looked like he might have been a captain. I don't knpw 
what he was. He was the only man I saw pass that looked like an officer 
while they were shooting the negroes. 

Question. Where were you when the flags of truce were sent in ? 

Answer. I was down under the bluff sharpshooting. 

Question. Is there anything else that you think of important to state? 

Answer. I don't know that there is. 



46 FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 

James P. Meador, sworu and examined. 

By Mr. Goocli : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. Company A, 13th Tennessee cavahy. 

Question. Do you live in Tennessee ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I am a native of the State. 

Question. Were you in Fort Pillow at the time of the attack there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you wounded there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; twice. 

Question. When? 

Answer. Once before I surrendered and once afterv/ards. 

Question. Did you see anybody shot besides yourself after he surrendered ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I saw lots of negroes shot, and some few Avhite men, and^ 
I heard them shoot a great many. I was lying down iinder the bank. 

Question. What were our men doing when they were shot 1 

Answer. They were begging for quarter when they shot them. 

Question. Did you see any of them shot Avhile begging for quarter 'I 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I heard an officer say, " Don't show the white men any 
more quarter than the negroes, because they are uo better, and not so good, or 
they would not fight with the negroes." I saw them make one of our com- 
pany sergeants kneel down and ask for quarter, and another secesh soldier came 
up and snapped his pistol at him twice ; but they told him not to shoot him. I 
saw them shoot others when they were kneeling down. 

W. J. Mays, sworu and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. Company B, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you in Fort Pillow when it was attacked ? , 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State what happened there. 

Answer. They attacked us about six o'clock in the morning. Sharpshooting: 
commenced early afterwards, and kept coming closer and closer until the skir- 
mishers were drawn in about ten o'clock. After that they made several efibrts 
to gain the fort, and could not get the position. Under this last flag of truce 
they gained the position they had been trying to get all day. 

Question. Did you see them moving their troops when the flag of truce was 
in? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I showed it to the boys. 

Question. What was the movement 1 

Answer. The place was pretty well surrounded, but they were not on the 
ground they had been trying to get all day. Under that flag of truce they 
gained the place, some 75 yards from the fort, and placed themselves under logs, 
with a better position. 

Question. Are you sure this movement was made while the flag of truce 
was in? 

Answer. I know it. 

Question. Did others see it ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; two boys near me, who were both taken prisoners. 

Question. Was anything said about it at the tirqe ? 

Answer. We spoke of it among ourselves at the time. We remarked that 
under the flag of truce they were only gaining the position they had been trying 
for all day. I was shot in the charge on the fort. The place was then taken. 
I would not have fallen then, but our men after surrendering found no quarter 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 47' 

shown them, and tliey flew down the bhiff and ran over mc and kept me down 
for some time, until I bled so that I could not get up. I saw them shoot a 
great many after they surrendered. I saw them shoot four white men and at 
least 25 blacks, some of them within 20 feet of mc, while they were begging- 
for quarter. They pulled one out of a hollov/ log by the foot and held him, 
wlien another shot him close by me. There were two negro women, and three 
little boys, some 8, 9 or 12 years old, about 25 steps from me. The secesh ran 
upon them and cursed them, and said, '-Damn them;" they thought they were 
free to shoot them. All fell but one, a little fellow, and they took the breech of 
a gun and knocked him down. Then they followed up the men that Averc try- 
ing to get away down the bluff, and some hours afterwards they came back 
searching their pockets. They came on back then, looking over them, and I 
saw one man with a canteen and asked him for a drink of water. His reply 
was to turn on me with his pistol presented and shoot at me three times, 
saying, "God damn you; I will give you water." But he didn't hit me, though 
he threw the dirt over my face. I concluded, it was best to lie still, and didn't 
move any more until aft-er dark, and then I crawled in with some of the dead 
and laid there until about 9 o'clock the next morning, when the gunboat came 
up, and I crawled down on the gunboat with a piece of white paper in my left 
hand, and made sigu,3, and the boat came ashore and I got on the boat. The 
general cry from the time they charged the fort until an hour afterwards was. 
"Kill 'em. kill 'em ; God damn 'em ; that's Forrest's orders, not to leave one 
alive." They were burning the buildings. They came with a chunk of fire to 
burn the building vv^here I was in with the dead. They looked in and said, 
"These damned sons of bitches arc all deac]," and went off. I heard guns the 
next morning, but I was in there with the dead, and didn't see them shoot anybody. 

Question. Pid you see any of the men in the fort shot after they had surendered? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw four white men and 25 negroes that I spoke of that 
were shot in the fort. The white men didn't commence flying from the fort^ 
though they threw their guns down, until they saw there was no quarter showa 
them. 

James McCoy sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. Where do you reside 1 

Answer. When I am sufl'ered to live at home I live in Tennessee. 

Question. You don't belong to the army? 

Answer. No, sir; but I have been with the regiment six months. The head 
officers were old acquaintances of mine. I once lived with Major Bradford. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the time the attack was made ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I was in Fort Pillow at headquarters. 

Question. Will you tell us what you observed there ? 

Answer. About daylight in the morning part of the pickets came in and said 
the rebels had captured some of the pickets and were coming. I had not got 
out of bed then. Major Bradford was up immediately the alarm was given. I 
had had my hands mashed a few days before. Major Bradford told me I had 
better go on the gunboat, as I would be in the way because I could not hold a 
gun. I went on board the gunboat, and about sunrise the firing commenced. 
The gunboat immediately played up and down the river, where I could see 
everything going on at the fort. I could not see over the blujBP. Major Brad- 
ford had a flag and stood on the edge of the bluff and motioned to the gunboat 
where to throw their shells. We had a great many guns on the boat, and about 
20 used their guns all the time. The rebel sharpshooters would come over the 
hill and shoot at the boat and everybody that passed. 

Question. Where were you when the flag of truce came in ? 

Ansv/cr. I was on the boat. 



48 FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. What did you see? 

Answer. As soon as the flag of truce came in the gunboat stopped firing. It 
was ahout 3 o'clock when it came in, and while it was in the enemy were creep- 
ing up constantly, sharpshooters and all, nearer and nearer. I saw a groat 
many creeping on their hands and feet, getting up to the hill close to the fort. 
I don't knoAV what was back of that. Some men in the fort told me that they 
had advanced and got close to the fort before the flag of truce was taken out. 
I saw them gathering aroiTnd there all the time, and all that time they were 
stealing from the commissary's stores blankets and everything else they could 
get at. I reckon I saw 200 men climbing the hill with as much as they could 
carry on their backs, shoes, &c. 

Question. Why did our officers pemiit that without firing on them? 

Answer. The gunboat, I think, was almost out of ammunition and had 
nothing to shoot; and none of them supposed the^ gunboat would stop shooting, 
but she ran out of ammunition. 

Question. Were you there until the place was taken ? 
• Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What happened after that ? 

Answer. About the time the rebels got over the fort there was just a cloud 
of them, our men in the fort running out. About 500 secesli cavalry, as well 
as I could sec, came up and turned in to shooting them down just as fast as 
they could. I heard a great deal of screaming and praying for mercy. The 
negroes took a scare from that and ran down the hill and into the river, but 
they kept shooting them. I was not more than 400 yards ofi", on the gunboat. 
I don't suppose one of them got more than 30 yards into the river before they 
were shot. The bullets rained as thick in the water as you ever saw a hail- 
storm. 

Question. Were those men armed who were shot ? 

Answer. No, sir ; they threw down their arms. 

Question. How many were shot? 

Answer. I don't know how many. They lay thick there the next morning, 
beside those they had buried. 

Question. You came back there the next morning ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What do you know about their burying men who were not dead ? 

Answer. I don't know anything myself, only what I heard. 

Question. Did yovi go up there where they had buried them ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. What did you hear about it ? 

Answer. I heard one of them say that he saw where a negro was buried, and 
saw a large mass of foam and dirt where somebody had been breathing through 
the earth. He brushed it ofi" and saw a negro there still breathing. I saw one 
or two who looked as if they had been buried when they came on board. I 
heard one ask them if they had been buried, and they said "Very near it." I 
don't think they were wounded. One of them had been in the dirt. I don't 
knov/ whether he played dead and was buried or not. 

Question. Do you know anything of their killing the men in the hospital? 

Answer. Not of my own seeing. Mr. Akerstrom was in his oifice down 
under the hill after the flag of truce was in, and made some signs for us to come 
to him. Since that time I have been told that they wounded him and then 
nailed him to a door and burned him up, but I didn't see that myself. 

Question. When did you hear about this nailing to a building and burning 
him up ? 

AnsAver. Since wc came up here. 

Qiiestion. Were you on board tlie gunboat the next day when some of the 
rebel officers came on board ? 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 49 

Answer. I Avas on board tlie Platte Valley. 

Question. Did tliey come Avith a flag of truce ? 

Answer. A flag of triice was hoisted, and when we got in to tlie shore some 
'of the rebel ofiicers came on board the Platte Valley. 

Question. How were they received by our officers 1 

Answer. Just as though there had been no fight. Some of the officers on 
the Platte Valley took one of the rebel officers up to the bar and treated him, 
and some would ask the rebel ofiicers Avhat made them treat our men as they 
did. He said they intended to treat all home-made Yankees just as they did 
the negroes. I went to Captain Marshall and asked him to let me shoot him. 
He said that the flag of truce was up, and it would be against the rules of war 
to shoot him. 

Question. Do you know Avhat officers treated him ? 

Answer. I don't knoAv ; they were all strangers to me. The gunboat first 
landed, and then the transport Platte Valley came up and took the prisoners, 
and then another boat came up and laid alongside of her. The three lay there 
together. 

Question. Do you knoAv of anything further on the subject that is important ? 

Answer. I don't think of anything now. 

William E. Johnson, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To what regiment do you belong 1 

Answer. I am a sergeant of company B, of the 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the time of the attack there ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I Avas at Memphis. I came up to Fort Pillow the morn- 
ing after the fight, on the Platte Valley, Avithin some six or eight miles below 
Fort Pillow, and then got on the gunboat 28. 

Question. Did you go on shore at Fort Pillow ] 

AnsAver. No, sir ; I saw some of the rebel officers come doAvn and go on 
board the Platte Valley ; and some of our officers Avere drinking with them, and 
making very free Avith them. I did not particularly notice what rank, but I took 
them to be captains and lieutenants. 

Question. Did you hear the conversation between them 1 

Answer. They were making very free with one another, joking, talking, and 
Tunning on. I did not feel right to see such going on, and did not go about 
them. 

John W. Shelton, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 
Question. Where were yovi raised 1 

Answer. I was born in Arkansas, but raised principally in Tennessee. 
Question. To what company and regiment do you belong ? 
Answer. Company E, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you at Fort PilloAv Avhen the attack was made there 
AnsAA'er. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you Avounded there ? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Before or after the surrender ? 
Answer. It Avas after I surrendered. 
Question. Where were you when you Avcre shot? 
AnsAver. I Av^as under the hill, going up the hill. 
Question. What did they say when they shot you? 

Answer. I asked them if they did not respect prisoners of A^-ar ; they said 
Eep. Com. G3 4 



50 ' FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

"r.o, tliey did not," and kept on sliootiug ; and tkey popped three or four cape- 
in my face with a revolver after they had wounded me. 

Question. Did you see them shoot any others after they had surrendered 1 

Answer. Yes, sir, lots of them ; negroes and white men both. They shot 
them^ down wherever they came to them. 

Question. Were you there the next day after the battle? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you see them shoot anybody the next day ? 

Answer. I saw them shoot negroes, not white men. 

Question. How many did you see them shoot that day ? 

Answer. I saw them shoot five or six on the hill where I was ; they said 
they shot all they could find. 

Question. Were you in the hospital there 1 

Answer. I was in a house there Avith the wounded. 

Question. Did you see them kill anybody there that was wounded ? 

Answer. They took two negroes out and shot them. 

Question. Did you see them bitrn any buildings the wounded Avere in ? 

Answer. Not the one we were in. I was told they fired some buildings that 
wounded negroes were in. 

Question. Were you where they buried any of the killed ? 

Answer. I saw them bury some in a ditch in the evening. 

Question. Did they separate the whites from the blacks ? 

Answer. I cannot tell ; I was not close enough. I saw them carry them., 
there and throw them in the ditch. 

Question. Did you hear anything about their nailing a man to a building and. 
then setting it on fire ? 

Answer. I heard of it, but did not see it. 

Question. When did you hear of it ? 

Answer. After I came up here. 

John F. Ray, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong? 

Answer. Company B, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow Avhen it was attacked ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. At what time were you vrounded 1 

Answer. T was wounded about 2 o'clock^ after the rebels got in the breast- 
works ? 

Question. Was it before or after you had surrendered ? 

Answer. It was after I threw down my gun, as they all started to run. 

Question. Will you state what you saw there ? 

Answer. After I surrendered they shot down a great many white fellows 
right close to me— ten or twelve, I suppose — and a great many negroes, too. 

Question. How long did they keep shooting our men after they surrendered ? 

Answer. I heard guns away after dark shooting all that evening, somewhere ; 
they kept up a regular fire for a long time, and then I heard the guns once in a 
while. 

Question. Did you see any one shot the next day ? 

Answer. I did not ; I was in a house, and could not get up at all. 

Question. Do you know what became of the quartermaster* of your regiment,. 
Lieutenant Akerstrom ? 

Answer. He was shot by the side of me. 

Question. Was he killed ? 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 51 

Answer. I tliouglit so at the time; he fell on liis faee. He was shot in the 
forehead, and I thought he was killed. I heard afterwards he was not. 

Question. Did yon notice anything that took place while the flag of truce 
was in? 

Answer. I saw the rebels slipping up and getting in the ditch along oiu;- 
breastworks. 

Question. How near did they come up ? 

Answer. They were right at us ; right across from the breastworks. I asked 
them what they were slipping uj:) there for. They made answer that they knew 
their business. 

Question. Are you sure this was done while the flag of truce was in 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. There was no firing; we could see all aroixnd ; we cou.d 
sec them moving up all around in large force. 

Question. Was anything said about it except what you said to the rebels 1 

Answer. I heard all our boys talking about it. I heard some of our officers 
remark, as they saw it coming, that the Avhite flag was a bad thing ; that tlic\- 
were slipping on us. I believe it was Lieutenant Akerstrom that I heard say 
it was against the rules of war for them to come up in that way. 

Question. To whom did he say that '? 

Answer. To" those fellows coining up ; they had officers with them. 

Question. "Was Lieutenant Akerstrom shot before or after he had surrendered? 

Answer. About two minutes after the flag of truce went back, during the 
action. 

Question. Do you think of anything else to state ? If so, go on and state it. 

Answer. I saw a rebel lieutenant take a little negro boy up on the horse 
behind him ; and then I heard General Chalmers — I think it must have been — 
tell him to " take "that negro down and shoot him," or "take him and sheet 
him," and he passed him down and shot him. 

Question. How large was the boy? 

Answer. He was not more than eight years old. I heard the lieutenant tell 
the other that the negro was not in the service; that he was nothing but a child; 
that he was pressed and brought in there. The other one said : " Damn the differ- 
ence ; take him down and shoot him, or he would shoot him." I think it must 
have been General Chalmers. He was a smallish man ; he had on a long gray 
coat, with a star on his coat. 

Daniel H. Rankin, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. Company C, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the late attack there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Will you state what happened there ? 

Answer. The worst thing I saw was the rebels moving up on us while the 
flag of truce was up at the fort. One part of their army moved right up on the 
brink of the ditch, and when the firing began, they rushed right into the fort. 
Before that the rebels were off two or three hundred yards. They tried twice 
to make a charge, but they did not succeed ; they did not get within twenty or 
thirty steps of the fort then. I saw a great many men shot after they sur- 
rendered, white and black both. 

Question. Are you sure you saw the rebels moving up towards the fort while 
the flag of truce was in ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I saw them. 

Question. When were you shot ? 

Answer. After I surrendered. 
f 



52 rOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Where were you when you were shot? 

Answer. About half way down the bhiff. 

Question. Had you your gun when yovi were shot 1 

Answer. No, sir ; if I had had my gun I would have shot the fellow who shot 
me. He was not more than ten steps from me. He was loading his gun, and I 
saw him shoot a man near me. As he fired at him I threw myself over the bluff, 
catching hold of a little locust. He aimed at my body and hit me in the leg, 
I then dropped down and got into the river, and afterwards got out and crawled 
behind a stump with two of my company. Some darkeys came there, and we 
told them to go away ; we saw the rebels were shooting them, and v/e alloAved 
if they were not Avith us Ave might get clear. I Aveut back to Avhere I Avas shot, 
and some felloAv fired at us, but did not hit us. We begged him not to shoot ; 
that the place Avas surrendered to them. One of our fellows thrcAV up his hands, 
but they fired at him aud hit his arm. We Avere carried out about two miles 
from the fort and then paroled. 

Question. Hoav long did yoxT stay Avhcre you had been carried out from the 
fort? 

AnsAver. I staid there some eighteen or tAveuty hours ; from about 8 o'clock 
at night to about 4 o'clock the next evening. In that time my Avound Avas 
dressed, and I was paroled somewhere between 3 and 5 o'clock. I got three 
of the rebels to help me up about a half a mile to a citizen's house, for I Avas 
not able to AA^alk. I found out that the gunboat had a flag of truce, and I got 
an old man then in the house to saddle up a horse and carry me to the fort. 
Two rebel doctors Avent along Avith me. When we got there a rebel lieutenant 
colonel took my parole from me, said it was forged, and that he Avas going to 
take mc back. The doctors told him my parole Avas right, and that I was not 
able to travel. They took me down to the gunboat No, 28, and then I Avent 
from that boat to gunboat No. 7, and then I Avent on the flag-ship. 

Lieutenant William Clary, sworn aud examined. 

By Mr. Gooch: 

Question. What is your rank and position in the service? 

AnsAver. I am second lieutenant of company B, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you at Fort PilloAv Avhen it was attacked ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I Avas sent to Memphis the day before, and returned to 
Fort PilloAV the morning after the fight. I came up on gunboat No. 28. The 
rebels Avere at Fulton, about tAvo miles and a half below Fort Pillow. We fired 
at them, and the rebels at Fort PilloAV heard it, and thought we Avere bringing 
up re-enforcements, aud then they set the toAvn on fire. 

Question. When did you get up there? 

AnsAver. Early in the morning, or little after daylight. 

Question. When did you land at Fort Pillow? 

Answer. We got there about 8 o'clock in the morning, aud shelled there an 
hour or so. The rebels v\-ere occupying the fort in large numbers. By and by 
the rebels came doAvn AAuth a flag of truce, and I Avent on shore to see Avhat Avas 
Avanting. One of the officers of the 6th United States heavy artillery said he 
did not like to go on shore for fear the rebels Avould kill him. I went on shore 
with one of the naval officers and saAV General Forrest's adjutant general, Major 
Anderson. He said if we would recognize the parole of Forrest Ave might take 
our Avoundcd on the gunboat; and that AA-as agreed upon. I rode all around the 
battle-ground, and saw some of our dead half buried, and I saAV five negroes 
burning. I asked Colonel Chalmers, the general's brother, if that Avas the Avay 
he allowed his men to do. He concluded that he could not control his men 
very Avell, and thought it Avas justifiable in regard to negroes; that they did not 
recognize negroes as soldiers, and lie could no: control his men, I did not seo 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 53 

any white men burniug there; if there vvere any, I did not recognize them as 
such. Their faces were burned, and some of them were sticking out of the tents 
and houses with their clothes partly burned. The negroes were lying upon the 
boards and straw in the tents which had been set on fire. It seemed to me as 
if the fire could not have been set more than half an hour before. Their flesh 
was frying off them, and their clothes were burniug. 

Question. How many did you see in that condition ] 

Answer. I saw five. 

<5uestion. Did they burn the hospital? 

Answer. I saw the hospital burning, but I do not know whether they moved 
the sick out or not before they burned it. I understood the rebels went in 
where there were some 20 or 30 negroes sick, and hacked them over their heads 
with sabres and shot them. The negroes had been moved from the heights up 
on the hill into two large tents by us; but I do not think our men had been 
moved up there. I went through the hospital tents up there the morning before 
I started down to Memphis, and saw them full of colored troops. Dr. Fitch 
told me that he had his hospital flag on every bush around the bottom of the 
hill. At the commencement of the tight the major had told him to take his 
instruments and his medicines dovrn under the bluff and stick up flags there, and 
have the wounded taken down to him. But the doctor said they did not notice 
his flags at all; that some of his patients were wounded there. He was wounded 
himself and taken .prisoner and paroled. 

Question. Did you see them shoot any colored men that morning ? 

Answer. I saAv them shoot one man just before we landed with the flag of 
truce. An escort of about 20 men rode up to a livery stable and set it on fire. 
The gunboat fired at them but did not hit them, and they got on their horses 
and rode off at a trot. There were some paths down the hill, and a man came 
along down one of them; I saw them halt; the foremost one, an oflicer I think, 
pulled out a, revolver and shot very deliberately at this man, and then they gal- 
loped off in qn\ck time. He did not kill the man, however, for I saw him walk- 
ing along afterwards. I do not know whether the man was white or black. 

Question. Did you hear anything of their nailing men to a building and then 
burning it ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I heard of it. And I heard a lady .=ay that a man was 
nailed to a building that was burned. She said she was well acquainted with 
Lieutenant Akerstrom before the fight took place. Some one asked why he was 
not buried. Some of the rebels said he was a damned conscript that had run 
away from Forrest. But I never heard Lieutenant Akerstrom say any such 
thing. 

Question. Who was that lady ? 

Answer. Mrs. Iluffin, the wife of Thomas Ruflin. 

Question. Where is she now? 

Answer. I think she is at Cairo now. Her husband did not get wounded, 
but he was sick. I heard an ensign on gunboat 28 invite General Chalmers and 
some of his aides-de-camp to come on board the gunboat, and I saw Major 
Anderson and several other confederate officers ou the Platte Valley drinking at 
the bar, and I saw a couple of array officers drinking there with them, and 
there might have been some naval officers with them too, but I am not certain 
of that. The clerk of the Platte Valley, General Forrest's adjutant general, 
Major Anderson, and an ensign of gunboat 28, took the names of the paroles. 
I did not take the names myself, because I was busily engaged going over the 
battle-field to find out if any of our men were left alive. I heard a great many 
rebel soldiers say they did not intend to recognize those black devils as soldiers. 
They said thi.:i to me as I was speaking about the slaughter there They also 
expressed the opinion that if we had not been fighting with black troops they 
would not have hurt us at all ; but th -y did not intend to give any quarter to 
negi-oes. 



54 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Dr. Stev/art Gordon, sworn and examined 
By the chairman : 

Question. What is yonr position? 

Answer. Acting assistant surgeon, United States army. 

Question. Where are you now stationed? 

Answer. I have charge of ward N, Mound City general hospital. 

Question. Is that the ward in which are the colored men we first examined 
yesterday ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Have you prepared a statement of the condition of the men in that 
ward whose testimony we have taken ? 

Answer. I have it here ; it is a brief history of their cases, where they were 
wounded, how they were wounded, and the condition they are in. — (Appendix 
to this deposition.) 

Question. Were you here in the hospital when those men were brought in? 

Answer. I was. 

Question. Had you any conversation with them then? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; Avith the greater part of them. 

Question. Did you hear their testimony yesterday? 

Answer. I did. 

Question. Did the statements they made to us coiTCspond with the statements 
they made to you when they were first brought here? 

Answer. They did. 

Question. So far as you can judge, from your experience as a medical man, 
are their statements in relation to their injuries corroborated by the appearance 
of the injuries themselves ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How many of those men have died since they have been received 
here? 

Answer. Only one in my ward. 

Question. How many are there now who you think will not recover? 

Answer. I think there are three who will no-t recover; perhaps more. 

Ward N. — Private Elias Falls, company A, 1st Alabama artillery, shot iu 
arm while fighting, shot in thigh after being prisoner, flesh wound, condition 
favorable; Private Duncan Harden, company A, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in 
arm while fighting, arm broke, shot in thigh after being prisoner, flesh wound, 
favorable ; Private Nathan Hunter, company D, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in 
side and hip after surrender, flesh wound, condition favorable; Sergeant 
Benjamin Robinson, company D, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in thigh and right 
leg after surrender, flesh wound, favorable; Private Daniel Tylor, company B, 
1st Tennessee artillery, shot in right shoulder, shot in right eye after surrendei", 
destroying sight, unfavorable; Private John Hashing, company B, 1st Tennessee 
artillery, shot in left arm after surrender, flesh wound, slight, favorable ; Private 
Thomas Adison, company C, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in nose and right eye 
after surrender, destroying sight, unfavorable ; Private Alfred Flake, company 
A, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in left hand while lying sick in hospital, flesh 
wound, unfavorable; Private Manuel NicholSj company B, 1st Alabama artillery, 
shot in left side before, and right arm after surrender, flesh wound, serious, 
unfavorable; Private Arthur Edmonds, company 0, 1st Alabama artillery, shot 
in head and right arm after surrender, causing fracture of ann, condition fiivor- 
ablc; Private Henry Hanks, company A, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in left side 
after surrender, wound serious, condition unfavorable; Private Charles Key, 
company D, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in right arm after surrender, fracture of 
arm, condition favorable; Private Henry Christon, company B, 1st Alabama 
artillery, shot in back before surrender, wound serious, rather favorable ; Private 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 55 

Aarou Fintis, company D, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in botla legs after sur- 
render, flesh Avound, slight, condition favorable ; Private George Shaw, company 
B, 1st Tennessee artillery, shot in left side of head, shot in right wrist after 
-surrender, not serious, favorable; Private Major William, company B, 1st Ten- 
nessee artillery, shot through nose after surrender, not serious, condition favor- 
able; officer's servant William Jerdon, 13th Tennessee cavalry, shot in left 
ankle, amputation, shot in left arm, fracture of arm after surrender, very unfavor- 
able; Corporal Alexander Naison, company C, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in 
right side of head after surrender, not serious, favorable; Private Thomas 
Gadis, company C, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in right hip after surrender, 
serious, condition imfavorable ; Corporal Eli Cothel, company B, 1st Alabama 
artillery, shot in right leg while fighting, shot in left arm after surrender, flesh 
wound, favorable; Private Sandy Cole, company D, 1st Alabama artillery, shot 
.in right thigh and arm after surrender, flesh wound, condition favorable; Private 
Nathan Modl'ey, eompany D, 1st Alabama artillery, shot in right knee after 
surrender, injury of joint, condition unfavorable; Private John Holland, com- 
pany B, 1st Tennessee artillery, shot in right thigh after surrender, fiesh 
wound, condition ftivorable; Private Robert Hall, company C, 1st Alabama 
artillery, sabre cut of head and left hand while lying sick in hospital, died. 

STEWART GORDON, 

Charge of Ward N. 

Dr. William N. McCoy, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. What is your position in the service ? 

Answer. I am an acting assistant surgeon, now stationed at Mound City 
general hospital, in charge of wards L, K, I, and H. Wards L, K, and H 
liavc wounded in from Port Pillow. 

Question. Have you prepared a statement of the cases of those of your 
patients whom we examined here 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; here is the statement. — (See appendix to this deposition.) 

Question. Did you have any conversation with those wounded men in rela- 
tion to their injuries when they first came to the hospital 1 

Answer. I did to some extent. 

Question. Have any of the wounded from Fort Pillow died in your wards ? 

Answer. One in ward H. 

Question. Are there others who you think will not recover ? 

Answer. There are two whose recovery I think is doubtful. 

Womidcd in tcards L, K, and H, United States General Hospital, Mound 
City, Illinois. — W. P. Walker, sergeant, company D, 13th Tennessee cavalry, 
received four wounds at Fort Pillow April 12, 1864. One ball passed through 
left arm near middle third, fracturing humerus. Second ball struck right side 
of neck, 1^ inch below mastoid process, and remaining in. Third ball made 
flesh wound in right shoulder, i'ourth ball struck left eye, supposed by him- 
self to be a glancing shot ; eye totally destroyed. Done after the sun-ender. 

Milas M. ]\[. Woodside, a discharged soldier from the 7th Tennessee cavalry, 
also 'from the 13th Tennessee cavalry, wounded by two balls, first (pistol) 
ball striking just below insertion of deltoid muscle of right arm, and remaining 
in ; second (musket) ball striking centre of right breast over third rib, and 
passing to the riglit and downward, emerged at inner border of the scapula, 
about 6 inches from point of en.trance. Done after surrender. 

Jason London, private, company B, 13th Tennessee cavalry, received a 
ball, which struck the dorsal side of right hand about the junction of carpal 
and metacarpal bones of index finger ; emerged at carpal bone of thumb ; then 



56 FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 

struck tliigh in front, about 6 inches above knee-joint ; passing over tlie bone,, 
emerged on inner side. After being wounded, he was knocked down by one 
of the fiends with a musket. Done after the surrender. 

David H. Taylor, private, company E, 13th Tennessee cavahy, received five 
wounds. First (musket) ball passed in under the angle of right jaw, fracturing 
the symphysis, where it emerged. Second balh struck front of right shoulder- 
joint ; emerged immediately behind caracoid process. Third ball entered 3 
inches below, and a little to the right of entiform cartilage ; passing downward, 
is lost. Fourth ball in left knee, fracturing inner condyle of femur, and passed 
into poplitael space. Fifth ball, upper part of middle third thigh ; lost. Done 
after the surrender, 

David W. Harrison, private, company D, 13ih Tennessee cavalry, received 
three wounds. First (musket) ball passed from behind head of humerus, left 
side ; emerged between clavicle and axilla, producing compound comminuted 
fracture of head and upper end of shaft of bone. Second ball struck left side 
2J inches above ilium ; ball not found. Third ball entered at upper edge of 
scapula behind, passing under the bone, is lost. Wounds received after sur- 
render. 

James Calvin Goeforth, private, company E, 13th Tennessee cavalry, re- 
ceived wound. Ball passed from right to left across the back, entering at upper 
part of scapula ; emerged at a point a little below and at the oj)posite side, 
(flesh wound.) Done after the surrender. 

William A. Dickey, company B, 13th Tennessee cavalry, wounded after the 
surrender. Ball entered abdomen 4 inches to the right of umbilicus ; ball lost. 

Thomas J. Cartwright, company A, 13th Tennessee cavalry, received Avound 
in left shoulder, striking pectoral muscle near axilla, fracturing clavicle ; was 
extracted near the vertebral column at upper and outer border of scapula. 
Done before the surrender. 

William L. McMichael, private, company C, 13th Tennessee cavalry, re- 
ceived five wounds. First ball glanced along the upper portion of right parietal 
bone, making wound (flesh) 2j inches long. Second ball glanced ulnar side of 
left forearm at wrist joint. Third ball struck left side of abdomen on a line 
from anterior superior process of ilium to symphysis pubis ; ball not found. 
Fourth ball struck near the insertion of tensu of right side ; passed downwards 4 
inches ; was extracted. Wounds received after the surrender of the fort. 

Isaac J. Leadbetter, private, company E, 13th Tennessee cavalry, received, 
wound in left side. Musket ball struck over eighth rib and plunged down- 
ward ; is lost. Done after surrender. 

James Walls, private, company E, 13th Tennessee cavalry, Avas wounded by 
musket ball striking over origin of gluteus minemus of left side, and passed 
upwards and across, emerging 11 inches from point of entrance almost over the 
last rib of right side, and about 2^ inches from vertebral column. Done after 
the surrender. 

In charge of WILLIAM N. McCOY, 

Acting Assistant Surgeon, United, States Army. 

Dr, A. II. Kellogg, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the service 1 

Answer. I am an acting assistant surgeon, in charge of wards E and F,. 
Mound City general hospital. 

Question. Were you present yesterday when- the testimony of the wounded 
men in your wards was taken 1 

Answer. I have but one under my charge who was wounded at Fort Pillow.. 
I heard his testimony. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 57 

Question. Had you previously tad any conversation witli liim in relation 
to the circumstances attending his being wounded ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did his statements to us yesterday correspond Avith the statements 
he made to you 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; except he gave a few more details yesterday as to what 
was said to him. He told me that he was wounded after he had surrendered. 

Question. Have you prepared a statement of his case ? 

Answer. Yes, sir here it is. 

Woodford Cooksey, private, company A, 13th regiment Tennessee cavalry, 
gunshot wound, with comminuted fracture of middle third of left femur, re- 
ceived at Fort Pillow, April 12, 1S64, after surrender. 

A. H. KELLOGG, M. D., 

Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A 

Doctor Charles H. Vail, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the service ? 

Answer. Acting assistant surgeon in charge of wards A, B, 0, and D, 
Mound City general hospital. The adjutant of tke 13th Tennessee cavalry is 
in ward B. 

Question. Have you prepared a statement of his case 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; and also of Captain Porter, who is in the same ward, and 
who was too weak to be examined this morning. 

First Lieutenant Mack J. Seaming, adjutant 13th Tennessee cavalry, gun- 
shot wound of right side, received at Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864. Ball en- 
tered right side below inferior angle of scapula, between sixth and seventh rib, 
ranged downward and was lost in muscles near hip. Wounded after he had 
surrendered ; shot by a man standing thirty feet above him on the bank. Pres- 
ent condition of patient good, with fair prospect of recovery. 

Captain John H. Potter, company B, 13th Tennessee cavalry, wounded at 
Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864. Ball fractured skull, caxiying away a portion of 
left parietal and frontal bones, leaving brain exposed for a distance of an inch 
and a half; was wounded early in the fight by a sharpshooter before the sur- 
render. Present condition almost hopeless, has remained insensible ever since 
he was wounded. 

CHARLES H. VAIL, M. D., 
Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A., in charge o^ officers' ward. 

Doctor J. A. C. McCoy, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooeh : 

Question. What is your rank and position ? 

Answer. Acting assistant surgeon in charge of wards 0, P, Q, and R, in 
Mound City general hospital. 

Question. Have you any of the wounded soldiers from Fort Pillow in your 
wards 1 

Answer. I have. 

Question. Have you prepared a statement of their cases 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I have two statements here prepared at different times ; I 
will hand you both of them, as each one contains some particulars not in the 
other. 

Ward Q. — John F. Ray, private, company B, 13th Tennessee, shot in pop- 
liteal space, ball kdged, done after surrender ; John W. Shelton, private, com- 



58 FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 

pany E, 13th Tennessee, shot tlirough left leg, middle third, flesh wound, done 
after surrender ; Joseph M. Green, private, company A, 13th Tennessee, shot 
in right shoulder, behind, ball escaping at middle of right arm, flesh wound, 
done after surrender; James H. Stout, private, company B, 13th Tennessee, 
shot in right leg, producing compound fracture of tibia, done after sm-render; 
Thomas J. Thompson, private, company D, 13th Tennessee, shot between sixth 
and seventh ribs, ball passing downward is lost, done after surrender ; Daniel 
H. Rankin, private, company C, 13th Tennessee, shot through left leg, flesh 
wound, done after surrender; Wiley Robinson, private, company A, 13th Ten- 
nessee, shot in right arm and right index finger, flesh wounds, shot through left 
index finger and through inferior lobe left lung, ball lodged, shot through left 
thigh and through left ankle, flesh* wounds, all but one shot done after surrender; 
Daniel Stamps, private, company E, 13th Tennessee, shot through right thigh, 
flesh wound, done after surrender; James P. Meador, private, company A, 13th 
Tennessee, shot through inferior lobe of right lung and superior lobe of left 
lung, one shot after surrender ; William J. Mays, company B, 13th Tennessee, 
shot through right axilla and side, flesh Avounds, done just before surrender ; 
James N. Taylor, private, company E, 13th Tennessee, shot in right hip, ball 
lodged, done after surrender; Francis A. Alexander, private, company 0, 13th 
Tennessee, shot through right leg, flesh wound, done after surrender ; Nathan 
G. Fowlkes, private, company D, 13th Tennessee, shot in left leg, compound 
fracture of both bones, done after surrender. 

J. A. C. McCOY, 
Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A. 

Francis A. Alexander, company C, 13th Tennessee, shot once after surrender, 
dangerous ; Nathan G. Fowlkes, company D, 13th Tennessee, shot once after 
surrender, dangerous ; Wiley Robinson, company A, 13th Tennessee, shot seven 
times, six times after surrender, dangerous ; Daniel Stamps, company E, 13th 
Tennessee, shot once after surrender, severe ; James P. Meador, company A, 
13th Tennessee, shot twice, once after surrender, dangerous; James N.Taylor, 
company E, 13th Tennessee, shot once after surrender, dangerous; William J. 
Mays, company B, 13th Tennessee, shot once just before surrender, dangerous; 
John F. Ray, company B, 13th Tennessee, shot once after surrender, danger- 
ous ; John W. Shelton, company E, 13th Tennessee, shot once after surrender, 
dangerous ; Thomas J. Thompson, company D, 13th Tennessee, shot once after 
surrender, dangerous ; Joseph M. Green, company A, 13th Tennessee, shot once 
after surrender, dangerous ; James H. Stout, company B, 13th Tennessee, shot 
once after surrender, dangerous ; Daniel H. Rankin, company 0, 13th Tennes- 
see, shot once aft<^' sun-ender, dangerous. 

J. A. C. McCOY, M. D., 
Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A. 

The following is a statement prepared by Dr. M. Black of the cases under 
his charge : 

Horton Casen, private, company A, 1st Alabama infantry, wounded at Fort 
Pillow after surrender, gunshot wounds in hip and thigh ; Jacob Thompson, 
waiter, company B, 11th Illinois cavalry, wounded at Fort Pillow after surren- 
der, pistol shots through thumb and head and several blows with blunt instru- 
ment (says with a gun) on head and neck, dividing skin in several places ; 
Henry Parker, company D, 1st Alabama, wounded at Fort Pillow after sur- 
render, gunshot wound in hip ; Ransom Anderson, company B, 1st Alabama 
artillery, wounded at Fort Pillow after surrender, sabre cuts on head and hand 
and gunshot wounds in shoulder and chest ; Mary Jane Robmson, wife of a 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 59 

soldier at Fort Pillov/, Avounded by a rebel after tbe surrender of tlie fort, at a 
distance of ten yards, gunshot wound through both knees. 

M. BLACK, 
Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A. 

Surgeon Horace Wardner, recalled and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. Have you heard our examination of the wounded in this hospital 
from Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. I have. 

Question. Did you have any conversation with them when they were first 
brought to the hospital? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did the statements they made to you then correspond with their 
statements to us 1 

Answer. They did. 

Question. Do the nature and character of their injuries sustain their state- 
ments in regard to their injuries? 

Answer. The character of the injuries of these men corroborates their state- 
ments in regard to the treatment they received from the rebels. 

Mound City, Illinois, April 23, 1864. 

Captain Alexander M. Peunock, United States navy, sworn and examined. 
ByMr. Gooch: 

Question. What is your rank and position in the navy? 

Answer. I am a captain in the United States navy; fleet captain of the Mis- 
sissippi squadron, and commandant of the station of Cairo and Mound City. 

Question. How long have you been in the naval service? 

Answer. Since the first of April, 1828. 

Question. Will you please state what services have been rendered by the 
naval forces here in checking and preventing the recent movements of the rebel 
Forrest and his command in this vicinity ? 

Answer. Two gunboats were at Paducah at the time tlie attack was made 
upon that place; they rendered efficient service there. On receiving information 
that Paducah had been attacked, or that there was a probability of its being 
attacked, I immediately went to Cairo from Mound City, with Captain Shirk, 
of the navy, and conferred with General Brayman and General Veatch. A 
regiment was sent by General Veatch up to Paducah. An armed despatch 
boat was also sent up, with Captain Shirk on board, and Captain Odlin, assist- 
ant adjutant general on General Brayman's staff, to ascertain the facts, and 
render such assistance as might be needed. 1 was informed by both Captain 
Shirk and Captain Odlin that the gunboats there, and the fort, had expended 
a great deal of ammunition and w^ere getting short of it. Ammunition both for the 
army and navy was immediately sent up; a division of gunboats from the Cumber- 
land river. Captain Fitch commanding, came down after the fight and re-enforced 
Captain Shirk at Paducah. 

Information having reached me that the rebels were crossing over into Illinois 
in small squads, four gunboats were stationed by the two above-named naval 
officers between Paducah and Mound City, to prevent their crossing, and orders 
were given them to destroy all ferries and skiffs, in fact all means of commu- 
nication across the Ohio river. 

A gunboat had been stationed at Columbus, Kentucky. Hearing that the 
suiTender of that place had been demanded, I despat-ched Captain Fitch with 
two of the Cumberland river boats, and another gunboat which was here for 
repairs, to Columbus, with orders if all was quiet there to go down the river a 



60 FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

far as HickmaH. I instructed Lim that the Mississippi river must bo kept clear 
at all hazards. After having given this order, Avhich was in Avritiug, the captain 
of a steamboat came to me and informed me that Fort Pillow had been at- 
tacked, and that the captain of the gunboat stationed there sent word that he 
had expended nearly all his ammunition. I directed Captain Fitch, if he could 
be spared from Columbus, to go down to Fcn-t Pillow with his three boats, and 
I immediately had placed on board a despatch boat the ammunition required for 
the gunboat then at Fort Pillow. And boats have since been cruising up and 
down the Ohio river, and the Mississippi river as far as Fort Pillow, for the 
purpose of giving convoy and keeping the river open. On the arrival of Cap- 
tain Fitch near Fort Pillow, he found the enemy in force on this side of the 
fort, behind wood piles on the bank of the river ; they were burning wood and 
barges there. They were shelled and driven oft'. Captain Fitch also prevented 
a detachment of rebels from crossing over to an island, where a number of 
transports and other boats had been detained, which the rebels desired to cap- 
ture or destroy. He convoyed that fleet as fiir as Fort Pillow, clear of danger. 
Afterwards three boats Avere sent down to Hickman, for the purpose of giving 
protection to such Union men as desired to leave and bring away their goods, 
and if possible to capture any rebels that might be in the place. A detachment 
of marines accompanied this expedition. The town was surrounded tAvice, once 
by day and once by night ; the guerillas had been in there and escaped. The 
people of Hickman were warned that if even a musket shot was again fired at 
a transport or other boat the place would be at once destroyed. These boats 
have been moving constantly day and night, and despatch boats have been fur- 
nished by the navy to convey despatches for General Sherman and General 
Brayman, up the Tennessee river, or wherever they might require. I would 
add that when Captain Fitch returned from Fort Pillow he brought away 
with him refugees, women and children, who had been left there, and ten 
wounded soldiers who had been there for two days. 

Question. What, in your opinion, would be the competent military and naval 
force to protect the public property at Cairo and Mound City 1 

Answer. Two gunboats and 2,000 men. 

Question. State briefly your reason for believing so large a force is required 
for that purpose. 

Answer. For the reason that we have public property extending along the 
river for seven miles, and we should be ready for any emergency. 

Question. What amount of j)roperty would be destroyed here, should the 
enemy get possession long enough to destroy it ? 

Answer. It is difficult to estimate its value accurately. We have here a 
a large number of guns, and all the ammunition and other supplies for the 
Mississippi fleet, consisting of at least 100 vessels. 

Question. What effect Avould the destruction or capture of this property have 
upon operations here in the west 1 

Answer. It would paralyze the fleet. 

Question. For how long a time 1 

Answer. For the entire season, besides giving the enemy means to act more 
on the offensive — means enough to last them for a campaign. 

Question. Is it also true that all the army supplies for the western depart- 
ment pass through here ? 

Answer, To the best of my knowledge it is. 

Question. What force have you here at Mound City now 1 

Answer. I have two gunboats, 85 marines, 100 mechanics, who have been 
armed and drilled, one company of the invalid corps, and a detachment of con- 
valescents from the hospital. Any other forces that may be here are merely 
temporary. 

Question. What force have you at Cairo ? 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 61 

Answer. Seventy-odd marines. But those we have only to protect ^the 
wdiarf boat and the inspection boat, which have on board provisions, ship 
chandlery, &:c. Admiral Porter has ordered me to move them up to this point 
whenever I can do so without detriment to the public service. I understand 
that there is a permanent garrison at Cairo of between 300 and 400 men. 
When General Brayman Avas compelled to re-enforce Columbus, he was com- 
pelled to take away from there all except about 150 men. 

Captain James AV. Shirk, United States navy, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the navy, and where are you 
stationed at this time ? 

Answer. I am a lieutenant commander, and commandant of the United States 
gunboat Tuscumbia, and the 7th district of the Mississippi squadron, which ex- 
tends from the headwaters of the Tennessee river to Cairo. 

Question. How long have you been in service in the west 1 

Answer. I have been attached to this squadron since the 6th of September, 
1862. 

Question. You are acquainted with the immense amount of public property at 
Mound City and Cairo ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Do you consider that there is a permanent force here, both naval 
and military, large enough for its protection ? 

Answer. I do not consider that there has been force enough here heretofore. 

Question. What, in your judgment, would be a force sufficient to render that 
protection and security Avliich the place ought to have ? 

Answer. I should think it would take a couple of gunboats, and at least two 
full regiments. The great danger to be apprehended here is from fire. 

Question. Will you now state what services the navy ha.s rendered in the late 
raids in this region of country 1 

Answer. I will state in regard to my own division. I returned to Paducah, 
from a trip up the Tennessee river, on the 25th of March, at noon. I imme- 
diately called upon Colonel Hicks, the commandant of that post, as was my 
custom, to hear what news he had. He informed me that the rebels had taken 
Union City the day before, and that he expected an attack there that night. 
As I had just come down from the southern part of Tennessee, and had heard 
nothing of Forrest there, and as I had been told so many times before without 
cause that the rebels were thieatening to attack Paducah, I did not put much 
confidence in the report ; at the same time, I did not wish to leave the place 
unprotected by gunboats, and I accordingly left the Peosta and the Pawpaw at 
that place, while I came down to Cairo to communicate with Captain Pennock 
and the authorities here, in order to find out whether or not there was any truth 
in the report. I left Paducah about one o'clock and arrived here about dark. 
Shortly after I arrived here the telegraphic operator at Metropolis telegraphed 
down that Paducah was in flames. Captain Pennock and I went down to 
Cairo to see Generals Brayman and Veatch. General Vcatch ordered a regi- 
ment of his troops up to Paducah to re-enforce Colonel Hicks, and I immediately 
started up in tho despatch boat Volunteer with Captain Odlin, General Bray- 
man's assistant adjutant general. On our way up we destroyed several ferry- 
boats and skiffs, in order to prevent the rebels crossing the river. We arrived 
at Paducah about daylight on the 26th of March. The enemy was in force 
about two miles and a half from town. It was reported to me by my subordi- 
nate officers that the enemy had attacked the place about three o'clock in the 
evening of the day before ; that the fort had been bravely defended and pre- 
served by the gallantry of Colonel Hicks and his small garrison, assisted very 
materially by the two gunboats which I had left there; that Porrest had occu- 



62 FORT PILLOW MASSACKE. 

pied tlie town ; tliat about ten o'clock tliat niglit he had been driven out by the 
fire of the Peosta, she having gone up and shelled the town for that purpose. 
I placed myself in communication with Colonel Hicks on the morning of the 
26th, and found that he was short of ammunition, as were also the gunboats. 
I immediately telegraphed to Captain Pennock to send up a full supply of am- 
munition for the two -gunboats, aud 30,000 rounds of Enfield cartridges for 
Colonel Hicks. The supplies were sent up by him immediately, and reached 
us that evening. In the afternoon, about three o'clock. Colonel Hicks sent me 
a message that the enemy were forming in line of battle at the head of Jersey 
street, and requested me to open upon them with shell. I fired shell in that 
direction, and about four o'clock the enemy left in the direction of Mayficld. 
The captains of the Peosta and the Pawpaw both informed me that the day 
before the rebels took advantage of the presence of women there, behind whom 
they covered themselves, aud fired at the officers and men on the gunboats. The 
■women came running down towards the fort, and the rebels got behind them and 
fired at our people on the boats. 

Question. And the boats could not fire upon the rebels without killing the 
women 1 

Answer. No, sir. And the rebels also took advantage of a flag of truce, while 
it was flying, to enter the toAvn and plant their batteries there, and to get into 
brick houses on the levee, from which to fire on the gunboats, while the flag of 
truce was flying at the fort. I returned that night at midnight to Cairo, and assisted 
Captain Pennock as much as I could in making preparations, to take care of the 
public property, as I knew that some few stragglers had crossed the Ohio above, 
and we were fearful they would come down aud burn the public property here. 
Again, on the 12th of this month, I was at Paducah. The rebels were reported 
in force all around the town. I telegraphed to Captain Pennock, giving him 
that information, and also that in my opinion Colonel Hicks ought to be re-en- 
forced. Another regiment was immediately sent up by General Brayman, and 
Lieutenant Commander Fitch, commanding the 8th district of the Mississippi 
squadron, by direction of Captain Pennock, sent four of his gunboats to report 
to me for duty. I made disposition *of four gunboats, each with ten marines on 
board, topatrol between Paducah and Mound City. The enemy hovered around 
us until about noon of the 14th, when they made a dash upon the town, send- 
ing in a flag of truce to Colonel Hicks, giving him one hour to remove the wo- 
men and children from the town. I immediately ordered all the transports to 
the Illinois shore, and took the women and children over there. When the hour 
was up I was informed that the rebels were in Jersey, a suburb of the town, and 
Colonel Hicks wished me to go up there and shell them. I did so, with two 
gunboats, carrying long-range rifled guns, firing about 120 rounds of shell, which 
fell in among them. The rebels retired, and encamped from three to six miles 
out of town that night. When the flag of truce was sent in to the fort, squads 
of rebel cavalry came into town and stole all the government horses there, and 
also a great many belonging to private citizens. 

Question. Under the flag of truce ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; as the flag of truee came in and went to the fort they came 
into the town. 

Question. Is not that a direct and utter violation of the rules of warfare 1 

Answer. It is a direct violation of the flag of truce. I have had three or four 
boats up the Tennessee river all the time. There are three up there noAv, one 
having come out the day before yesterday. There were two to have started 
this morning at daylight, and I received a despatch this forenoon, saying that 
the enemy were reported to be crossing the Tennessee river at Birmingham and 
above, in force, from the west to the east side. I immediately telegraphed to 
Paducah and had two lieavy gunboats go up to ascertain the truth of the report. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 63 

I do not credit tlie story, but I have done all I possibly could do, with the 
limited number of boats at my command. 

Question. How long have you been in the navy 1 

Answer. Fifteen years. 

Question. You arc acquainted with the admiuistratien of Captain Pennock, ot 
the navy, here 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What do you say of it ? 

Answer. I do not think any one could have done more than Captain Pennock 
has done, Avith the means at his command. 

Question. Why is it that we do not hear more of the transactions of the gun- 
boats out here, while we hear so much of what the army does 1 

Answer. One reason is that there is a general order by Admiral Portei', pro- 
hibiting any newspaper rej)orter from going on board any vessel in the Mis- 
sissippi squadron. 

Question. Is there a cordial understanding and co-operation between the navy 
here and the military forces under General Brayman 1 

Answer. I think there is to a very great degree. I never saw more cordiality 
existing between officers of the difi'ereut services. I would like to say further, 
that during this late raid I convoyed General Veatch's division up the Tennessee 
river. It was ordered up there by General Sherman to land at or near Savannah, 
and go out to Purdy and the Hatchie, in that way intending to catch Forrest. I 
afterwards sent up another despatch of the same purport, from General Sher- 
man to General Veatch, which reached him at the landing near Purdy. I sent 
up a third despatch to him, which was brought here by General Corse from 
General Sherman, That despatch never reached General Veatch for the reason 
that he had come back from Purdy, gone on up the Tennessee and disembarked 
his troops at Waterloo, Alabama, and was out of reach of my gunboats. 

Captain Smith, commanding the Peosta, broke up a rebel recruiting office at 
Brooklyn, Illinois, a week ago last Sunday. The recruiting office was on board 
a trading vessel. He destroyed the boat, but saved seven new rebel uniforms 
that were on it. He could not discover the recruiting agent there, there being 
so many secesh sympathizers around there. 

Question. In your opinion, has General Brayman acted with vigilance and 
activity, and done all he could with the forces intrusted to him, during these 
raids 1 

Answer. So flir as I knoAV, he has done all he could do. 

Cairo, Illinois, April 24, 1864. 

Major General Steven A. Hurlbut, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the army ? 

Answer. I am a major general of volunteers, commanding the 16th army 
corps. 

Question. Where have you been stationed ? 

Answer. I have been stationed at Memphis for the last sixteen months. 

Question. How long have you been stationed along the river ? 

Answer. Ever since .the battle of Shiloh. I have commanded at Bolivar 
and Jackson, Tennessee, until about the 20th of November, 1862, when I was 
ordered to Memphis. 

Question. Now, with regard to this raid of Forrest, was that raid made in. 
your department 1 

Answer, Yes, sir. 

Question, Please give us, in your own way, a brief account of«that raid. 



64 FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Answer, Forrest first crossed the Mempliis and Charleston railroad last 
December. 1 organized a force in Colnmbus, and moved it down and drov] 
him out. General Sherman then ordered all the available troops in my com- 
mand to be got together^— leaving very small garrisons at the important points — 
for the Meridian expedition. I marched and crossed there, and marched back 
again. Two divisions of my command were then detailed to go up Red riverj 
under General Banks. As an auxiliary to the infantry movement to Meridian; 
General W. S. Smith came to Memphis and took command of all my cavalry 
and another brigade -N.hich he brought pver, all amounting to about seven 
thousand effective men, to move across the country, drive the enemy's force 
out, cut his way across to Columbus and Aberdeen, and to go down to the 
Mobile and Ohio railroad, and join us at Meridian. He failed to make that 
junction ; was met by Forrest about West Point, and for some reason or other 
(I do not know what) retreated and fell back to Memphis. The effect of a 
retreat, at the rate at which they retreated, and the loss they met with, and the 
retreating before an inferior force, demoralized the cavalry very seriously. I 
returned to Memphis about the Three Points, marched, and found that Forrest 
was organizing a very considerable force, so far as I could find out, with the 
intention of moving up to West Tennessee. I had orders from the War 
Department to send home all the veteran regiments (cavalry especially) as 
rapidly as possible. I took an inventory of my force, and found that I had 
about sis thousand cavalry to tvv'o thousand two hundred horses, which limited 
the efficiency of the cavalry. I furloughed and sent home the 3d Michigan, 2d 
Iowa, 3d, 6th, 7th, and 9th Illinois, and distributed their horses among the men 
that were left, so as to keep men enough always, and more, to mount with 
horses. Forrest moved up, and crossed the line of the Charleston and Memphis 
railroad, towards Jackson, Tennessee, and occupied it. General Grierson was 
directed by me to go out with his cavalry, feel him, attack him, and cripple him 
as much as possible. He went out, and reported that he was " a little too strong 
for him, and he could not touch him." My effective force at Memphis consisted 
of 2,200 cavalry, 2,100 white infantry, and 2,400 colored infantry. I had the 
choice to move out a force sufficiently strong to attack Forrest and leave Mem- 
phis open, with its immense amount of government stores, ordnance, hospitals, 
and everything of that nature. I became satisfied that if I moved out 4,000 
men, (which was the lowest I considered safe to send out,) and they should 
move out 50 or 60 miles into the country, the enemy, being all mounted, would 
turn that force and come in and occupy Memphis, Avhich I considered would be 
a greater disaster than to allow Forrest to range in West Tennessee. I there- 
fore did not send them out, but I kept the cavalry out as far as we could go, or 
dared go. It was not possible to divine precisely what Forrest's intentions were. 
My own opinion was, that it was his intention to organize a force, cross the Ten- 
nessee river, and operate upon General Sherman's line of communication. I 
was at Cairo at the time Union City was attacked. Four regiments and a bat- 
tery of one of my divisions, which were ordered up the Tennessee river, were 
here also. I directed General Brayman to take them and throw them up to 
Columbus in rear of Forrest when he was at Paducah, but they were peremp- 
torily ordered up the Tennessee river. 

Question. Ordered up by General Sherman ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. The result was, that there was not force enough, in my 
opinion, in the command on the Mississippi river, from I^ducah to Memphis, to 
operate upon Forrest with any prospect of success. 

Question. What Avas the estimated strength of Forrest's forces ? 

Answer. Forrest's entire force, according to the best of my information, was 
between 8,000 and 9,000 men altogether. That includes this division of 
Buford's that operated up here. I have somewhere among my papers a list of 
all his brigades. I know nearly all of them. I have run against nearly all of 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 65 

•them. He had five of the oldest regiments iu the confederate service detailed 
•expressly for this purpose as a nucleus of his organization. These were troops 
that had seen a greaL deal of service along the line below Memphis — Chalmers's 
brigade, Ely's brigade, Bell's brigade, and McCullough's. I cannot estimate 
FoiTest's force at less than between 8,000 and 9,000 men. The cause of his 
raid, unquestionably, was the fact that so large an amount of troops which had 
been holding this region of country had been removed — a portion of them up 
the Tennessee river to Decatur, and a portion up the Red river — also the fact 
that he knew perfectly well, from his spies at Memphis, the condition of our 
■cavalry. Memphis, from the nature of the ground there, is a place that requires 
not less than five thousand men to garrison the outer line. It is the worst place 
to cover that I ever saw. We have a fort there that was built that would take 
seven thousand men as a reasonable amount to line the parapets. We have im- 
mense stores there, for from Memphis not only the 16th and 17th army corps 
are supplied, but General Steele's army at Little Rock are supplied from there 
also. We have large hospitals there, scattered all over the city. We have an 
unsteady and unreliable population ; and the daily interior guard duty, for the 
city proper, requires over 300 men. I considered then, and I consider now, 
that the removal of any force competent to make any serious impression upon 
Forrest would have imperilled Memphis ; and I believe that was what General 
Forrest wanted done. 

Question. How large a force did you retain there for the safety of that place ? 
Answer. I retained the infantry — four thousand men. I kept the cavalry out 
all the time as far as they could go. 

Question. How came you to reoccupy Fort Pillow ? Had it been abandoned ? 
Answer. No, sir. When I moved to Meridian, the 52d Indiana regiment 
which had been there was withdrawn, and made a part of the expedition, and 
the 13th Tennessee cavalry, which was recruiting, was moved down there as a 
recruiting point. I afterwards re-enforced it by sending up Major Booth with 
four companies of colored heavy artillery and six guns, and a section of light 
artillery, making in all about 600 men. 

Question. Do I understand you to say that the post had never been entirely 
abandoned ] 

Answer. No, sir. When the 52d Indiana v/as taken away it was temporarily 
abandoned until the 13th Tennessee came down to hold it as a recruiting point. 
I considered Fort Pillow as a place which ought to be held with a small garri- 
son, and I think so yet, and any navy oflicer or river man will tell you that the 
situation of the channel there requires it. 

Question. I am not questioning that at all. I merely inquired as to the fact. 
Answer. I sent Major Booth there because I had great confidence in him as 
a soldier. He Avas an old soldier who had served in the regular army, and I 
considered him the best man I had for that purpose. I received a report from 
him " that he could hold that post against any force for forty-eight hours," 
which was all I expected him to do, and if he had not been killed I think he 
would have held it. I have no doubt that his death Avas the immediate cause 
•of the capture of the place. 

Question. Just in this connexion, please to state why yoix deemed it import- 
ant to keep up a garrison at that place. 

Answer. The steamboat channel at Fort Pillow runs right under the bluflf, 
and brings every boat as it passes within musket-shot of the shore, and a couple 
of guns mounted up above there would stop most effectually the navigation of 
the river, and drive away any of the tin-clad gunboats we have, for a plunging 
fii-e would go right through them, and they could not get elevation enough to 
strike. The whole life of the army below, especially while these large move- 
ments were going on, depended upon an uninterrupted communication by the 
river, and the stopping that communication for two or three days might deprive 
Rep. Com. 63 5 



QQ FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

ns of necessary supplies just at the moment that they were required. These 
were my reasons for holding the place. 

Question. What information have you in regard to the attack upon Fort Pil- 
low ; its capture, and the barbarities practiced there ? 

Answer. I am not positive about dates, but my recollection is that Fort Pil- 
low was attacked on the 12th of April. Just about dusk of the 12th a boat 
came down to Memphis from Fort Pillow, bringing information that the place 
was attacked, but that Major Booth was perfectly confident of being able to hold 
out until he could be re-enforced. I immediately ordered a regiment to be got 
ready, with four days' rations and an extra supply of ammunition ; took the 
steamer "Glendale," dropped her down to Fort Pickering, and the regiment 
was in the very act of going on board when another boat came down with the 
information that the fort was captured. The order to move up the regiment 
was countermanded, for there was no use in sending it then. There were at 
Fort Pillow two 10-pound Parrotts, two 6-pounder field guns, and two 12- 
poundcr howitzers, and about 600 men. I cannot tell precisely the number of 
the 13th Tennessee cavalry, for it was a recruiting regiment, and filling off and 
on. If the men had been left in the position in which they had been placed by 
Major Booth, and from which position he had already repelled an assault of the 
enemy, I think they would have been able to have held the fort until re-enforced. 
I believe that the ground there is so strong that 600 men with that artillery 
ought to have held it ; but the command devolved upon a very good gentleman, 
but a very young ofiicer, entirely inexperienced in these matters. The enemy 
rushed on the fort from two or three directions, and confused him, I think, and 
broke him and carried it. The information which I have from all sources, offi- 
cial and otherwise, is that — whether by peiinission of their officers, or contrary to 
their permission, I cannot say — a butchery took place there that is unexampled 
in the record of civilized warfare. We always expect, in case of a place carried 
by assault, that some extravagance of passion will occur ; but this seems to have 
been continued after resistance had ceased, when there was nothing to keep up 
the hot blood, and to have been of a nature brutal to an extent that is scarcely 
credible, and I have embodied in my official report to General McPherson (my 
present superior officer) my opinion that the black troops will hereafter be- 
uncontrolable, unless the government take some prompt and energetic action 
upon the subject. I know very well that my colored regiments at Memphis, 
officers and men, will never give quarter. 

Question. They never ought to. 

Answer. They never will. They have sworn it; and I have some very 
good colored regiments there. 

Question. What do you say of the fighting qualities of the colored troops ? 

Answer. That depends altogether upon their officers. If they arc properly 
officered, they are just as good troops as anybody has. I have two or three 
regiments at Memphis that I am willing to put anywhere that I would put any 
soldiers which I have ever seen, with the same amount of experience. 

Question. Did you learn anything of the particulars of those atrocities that 
were committed there at Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. I learned the particulars from the reports of the officers. 

Question. Did you learn anything about any flags of truce being taken; 
advantage of ? . 

Answer. They always do that ; that is a matter of habit with them. 

Question. And they took advantage of them in this case, as you learn ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and they did it at Paducah, and they tried it at Columbus. 

Question. Did you hear anything about their setting fire to hespitals, while 
the wounded were in there ? 

Answer. I learn, from what I consider unquestionable authority, that bodies 
were found which had been wounded by musket shots, and then their eyes 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 67 

"bayoneted out ; men wounded in a similar way, with their bowels cut open ; and 
I have heard many other instances of equal barbarity. 

Question. Did you hear, recently after that capture, of anybody being nailed 
to a building and burned ? 

Answer. I heard that Lieutenant Akerstrom was so treated. 

Question. Did you learn that from a source that you could give credit to ? 

Answer. I had no reason to doubt it, with the exception of the identification 
of the body. The fact that somebody was so treated, I consider to be sufficiently 
proven ; the identification I think is doubtful. 

Question. Is there anything more you wish to state ? If so, will you state it 
without further questioning ? 

Answer. I do not know that I can state anything more than my opinion in 
regard to certain things that might have been done. I do not know that it is 
worth while to do that. As I am under censure myself, at present I prefer not to. 

Question. Will you give us a description of the situation of Fort Pillow i 

Answer. It is a very difficult thing to describe. The original fortifications, as 
made hy the rebels, were very much too large to be held by any force that we could 
spare. It was intended for a very large force ; but there are two crowning 
heights — bold knobs — that stand up there, which command the entire region 
of approach, and which Major Booth was directed to occupy. He went up 
and examined the ground, and reported to me. A light work was thrown up 
upon one of them, and there was a portion of a work upon the other. The 
one to the south was not occupied during the fight ; the one to the north of the 
ravine, which leads down to the landing, was occupied. That was the point 
which I considered should have been held ; and I think yet it could have been, 
and would have been, if Major Booth had lived. 

Question. Can you describe the position in which the men were placed by 
Major Booth l 

Answer. Major Booth had his artillery upon this knoll, and held the slope of 
the hill with some rifle pits. From these rifle pits, as I am informed, he repulsed 
the enemy. The troops were afterwards drawn in by Major Bradford, into the 
fortification proper, and that was attacked on all sides. My opinion is that. 
Major Bradford lost his head — got confused. The rush was too strong for him. 
The amount of the enemy's force that actually attacked there I do not know,, 
but from all the testimony I could get, I should judge it to have been not 
less than 2,500 men. 

Question. Who do you understand led the enemy's forces? 

Answer. Forrest was there personally. I understand, howevei", that the 
main body of the force was Chalmers's command, who was also there. There 
was also a portion of Forrest's force there. Forrest will carry his men further 
than any other man I know of ; he is despera»te. 

Question. Have we any force at Fort Pillow now 1 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Do you consider that a point which should be occupied by a force, 
in order to make the navigation of the river safe ] 

Answer. I do. 

Question. What force do you deem should be placed there to hold it ? 

Answer. I think 500 steady ti-oops, properly supplied Avith artillery, and 
properly covered with works, could hold the place until re-enforced — hold it, all 
that is necessaiy. 

Question. Did you ever have any instructions or orders to evacuate Fort 
Pillow ? or did you, at any time, ever propose to evacuate it ? 

Answer. I never had any orders to evacuate it. My orders from General 
Sherman were to hold certain fortified points on the river. I never had any 
instructions with regard to Fort PiU»w one way or the other that I recollect. 
I considered it necessary to hold it, and never intended to abandon it. 



68 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Had it been held by us for some considerable time ? 
Answer. It had been held since we first occupied the river. 
Question. Do not the same reasons exist for holding it now, that had existed 
during all that period ? 

Answer. The same. The reasons arc geographical, and do not change. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Then I understand you to state that your instructions, in spirit, 
required you to hold it, and that it was necessary that it should be held 1 

Answer. My opinion is distinct that it should be held always, and there is 
nothing in my instructions that requires it to be abandoned. Some discretion, I 
suppose, belongs to an officer in charge of as much range as I have had to hold ; 
and I certainly should not abandon that place, if I had troops to hold it. 

By the chairman : 
Question. Will you tell us what you know about the attack on Union City ] 
Answer. Colonel Hawkins, of the 7th Tennessee regiment, was at Union 
City as an advanced post, lie had in round numbers about six hundred men. 
He was threatened by about fifteen hundred, I should think. They attacked 
him, and were repulsed. General Braymau moved from here with two thousand 
troops, and got down as far as the bridge, six miles from Union City, before 
Hawkins surrendered. They commenced the flag-of-truce operation on him, 
when they found they could do nothing else, threatening to open upon him with 
artillery, and to give no quarter. Contrary to the entreaties, prayers, and ad- 
vice of all his officers and all his men, he did surrender his post, with a relieving 
force within six miles of him ; and surrendered it, as I have no doubt, from pure 
cowardice. 

Question. Was he aware of the re-enforcements approaching 1 
Answer. I think so, but I will not be positive. General Brayman can tell 
more about that than I can. I was at Columbus when General Brayman 
returned. 

Question. Where is Colonel Hawkins now 1 

Answer. He is a prisoner. This is the second time he has surrendered to 
Forrest. 

Captain Thomas P. Gray, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the army 1 

Answer. For the last four months I have been holding the place of captain in 
the 7th Tennessee cavalry, but I have not been mustered in yet. 

Question. Had you teen in service before ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. For how long ] 

Answer. I enlisted in Illinois on the 24th of July, and was mustered into 
the United States service August 1, 1861. 

Question. Were you at Union City when the late attack was made there? 

Answer. I was. 

Question. Will you give us an account of what occurred there 1 

Answer. On the 23d of March last it was generally understood by the troops 
there that the rebels were advancing upon us ; we supposed under General 
Forrest. That night two companies, I think, were ordered to keep their horses 
saddled. The first orders I received were about half-past four, the morning of 
the 24tli. The adjutant of our regiment came to me and told me to have my 
horses saddled. In perhaps half an hour after that we were ordered into line, 
and I held my company in line for some time waiting for orders. As Colonel 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 69 

Hawkins came by I asked him if he wanted me to take my position at the 
breastworks, and he said he did. I then took my position at a place where I 
thought I was most needed, at some breastworks that my company had thrown 
up on the east side. At this time the rebels were firing on onr pickets. I think 
there was no general charge until about half-past 5 or 6 o'clock. That charge was 
made by cavalry, on the south side. They did not charge a great way, and were 
easily repulsed. The same men then reassembled, dismounted, and charged on 
the fort. This time they came very close to the breastworks, but were again re- 
pulsed. After that our troops Avere very exultant, and ready to meet the rebels 
anywhere. The next charge was made on the northwest ; that was easily 
repulsed. The last charge was made on the northeast, fronting my position ; 
that was repulsed tolerably easily, but with more loss to the rebels than pre- 
viously. Then there was sharpshooting for about an hour and a half, and we 
were all in good spirits. At the expiration of that hour and a half a flag of 
truce came in in my front. I sent word to Colonel Hawkins that there was a 
flag of truce coming. I went in person tcr meet the flag, and halted it about 
two hundred yards from the breastworks, and asked them what they desired. 
They said they wished to see the commander of the forces there. I told them 
I had notified him, and he would be there in a moment. Ai that time they 
ordered me under arrest, because I made myself easy looking around upon their 
position. 1 demanded their right to order me under arrest under a flag of truce, 
and told them I had as much right to look around as they had. They then 
ordered me to sit down. I told them that v^as played out ; that I was not only 
there under the right of a flag of truce, but that I was there to give them their 
orders if they made any mismoves. They gave up then, as Colonel Hawkins was 
in sight. When the colonel came a document was handed him . I do not know 
anything about it ; for, as soon as the colonel came near, I went back to the 
breastworks. The flag of truce then retired. As soon as I got back I made it 
my business to go around inside the breastworks to get a view of the rebel 
troops. They were there upon stumps and logs, and every place where they 
could see. 

In about twenty minutes, I think it was, they came again with another flag 
of truce. I met them as before. This time a demand for surrender was handed 
to Colonel Hawkins. I remained there this time, and saw the communication. 
I could once give almost the exact language of it. At any rate, it was a de- 
mand for unconditional sun-ender, promising us the rights of prisoners of war if 
the surrender was made ; if not, then we must take the consec[ueuces. After 
consulting Avith them for a little time Colonel Hawkins was allowed fifteen 
minutes to go to camp and back again. I remained there about fifteen minutes 
with the rebel truce bearers. During this time I could observe in every move 
and remark they made that they were beaten. Perhaps I should have said 
before, that when Colonel Hawkins was talking about the matter, I gave my 
opinion in regard to it. This was before the flag of truce came in at all. Col- 
onel Hawkins came down to my corner of the breastworks. I told him that 
the rebels were beaten on their first programme, at any rate ; that it was my 
opinion that they would either consolidate and make a charge on one side, or 
•■Ise they would leave the field, or else lie there and sharpshoot imtil they 
could get re-enforcements. I state this merely to show what our feelings were — 
that we were satisfied they x/eve whipped, were beaten. 

When the colonel came back from his second flag of truce I left them and 
went inside the breastworks. I was satisfied from appearances that the surren- 
der would be made, and I hid a couple of revolvers and some other things I had ; 
I did not know whether I should ever find them again or not. The troops con- 
sidered that the surrender was made as soon as they saw a rebel officer coming 
back with the colonel, and every man tried to hide his stuff. Some broke their 
guns, and all were denouncing Colonel Hawkins as a coward, in surrendering 



70 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

them without cause. That is all I know of the matter up to the time of the 
surrender. 

Question. Do you say it was the opinion of all the officers and men, so far as 
you know, that the surrender was wholly unnecessary 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; every man I ever heard say anythuig about it. 

Question. To what cause do you attribute the surrender ? 

Answer. Some said that the colonel was half rebel, anyway ; others said 
that he was a little cowardly, and surrendered to an imaginary foe — to a force 
that was not theri^ Those were the reasons that I have heard. 

Question. What was your force there 1 

Answer. About 500 men. 

Question. Did you have any colored troops 1 

Answer. None. 

Question. What was the force of the enemy ? 

Answer As near as I could judge — and I tried to estimate their number — they 
had about SOD after the surrender ; I think they must have had a thousand at 
first. 

Question. Could you have held that position against them ? 

Answer. I am satisfied we could have held it all day, xmless our ammunition 
had given out. 

Question. Had you any information in regard to any re-enforcemei^ts ap- 
proaching to your relief] 

Answer. For the last two hours we had expected to see them at any time. 

Question. What reason bad you to expect re-enforcements ? 

Answer. We had a communication that they knew our situation at Columbus, 
that they knew the rebels were advancing on us, and, of course, I thought they 
would send us re-enforcements. 

Question. From what point did you expect re-enforcements 1 

Answer. From Columbus. I remarked to the men, as soon as the surrender 
was made, that I would be ten times more mad if I should hear afterwards that 
our re-enforcements were right close to us, which I expected was the case. 

Question. What occurred after the surrender ? 

Answer. The men were marched on foot ; the officers were allowed to ride 
their horses. They were marched two days — it was rainy and muddy weather — 
nearly cast, towards Dresden. They had nothing to eat for two days, until eight 
o'clock the second night, and then we got some corn-bread and meat. The 
second day they turned from the Dresden road, towards Trenton, through the 
country, not in the regular road. On the evening of the thkd day we arrived 
at Trenton, Tennessee. There all our money, and I think all our watches, 
Avere taken — I knoAv some of them were — and the pocket-knives were taken 
from the men : all done officially, one company at a time. 

We laid over the fourth day at Trenton. On the fifth day at noon we marched 
toward Humboldt, and arrived there in the evening, just before dark. At seven 
o'clock, or nearly seven o'clock, I left them. My intention was to go to the 
commander at Memphis and get him to send a force out to Inake the rebels 
release our troops. Before I left the rebels, after I had concluded to leave 
them, I commenced getting up a plot to break the guards, and see if we could 
not redeem our name a little in that way and get off. It was working finely, 
but I met the opposition of the officers, because it was the general opinion that 
if we were caught, one in every ten would be killed. I abandoned that and 
escaped. 1 travelled on foot twenty-five hours without stopping, through the brush, 
dodging the rebels and guerillas. I was then directed by a negro to a farm 
where there were no whites, and where, he said, I could get a horse. When I 
got there I found I was so tired and sleepy that I dared not risk myself on a 
horse, and I secreted myself and rested there until early the next morning ; I 
got a little refreshment there, too, I then got an old horse, with no saddle, and 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 71 

rode into Fort Pillow, just forty miles, in a little more than five liours. I 
readied there a little before noon, on the SOtli of March. 

The morning after I escaped from the rebels I wrote myself a parole, which 
screened me from a great many rebels whom I could not avoid. I was chased 
by two guerillas for some distance at this place, where I stopped over night, 
and got a horse. I knew two guerillas had been chasing me over ten miles. I 
told the negroes, as I laid down, that if any strangers came on the place, or any 
one inquiring for Yankees, to tell them that one had been there and pressed a 
horse and gone on. They did so; and more than that, they told the guerillas 
that I had been gone but a few minutes, and if they hurried they would catch 
me. They dashed on five miles further, and then gave up the chase and turned 
back. That is the way I avoided them. 

After I got to Fort Pillow I got on a boat and went to Memphis, reaching 
there before daybreak on the morning of the 31st of March, and waked General 
Hurlbut up just about daybreak, and reported to him. 

Question. Did you have much conversation with these rebels, or hear them 
express opinions of any kind, while you were with them? 

Answer. I was talking almost continually with them. Somehow or other I 
got a little noted in the command, and a great many came to me to discuss 
matters about the war. They seemed to be confident that they were all right, 
and would succeed. I did not hear the command I was with say they intended 
to attack Fort Pillow ; but while I was on my way from there to Fort Pillow, 
the report was current along the road that the rebels were going to attack it. 
Eut I reported to Major Booth, when I got to Fort Pillow, that I did not think 
there was any danger of an attack, because I thought I should have seen or 
heard something more to indicate it. I told him, however, that I thought it 
would be well to be on the lookout, though I did not think they would attack 
him. I heard the rebels say repeatedly that they intended to kill negro troops 
wherever they could find them ; that they had heard that there were negro 
troops at Union City, and that they had intended to kill them if they had found 
any there. They also said they had understood there were negro troops at 
Paducah and Mayfield, and that they intended to kill them if they got them. 
And they said that they did not consider oflScers who commanded negro troops 
to be any better than the negroes themselves. 

Question. With whom did you have this conversation? 

Answer. With ofiicers. I did not have any extensive conversation with any 
officer higher than captain. I talked with three or four captains, and perhaps 
twice that number of lieutenants. 

Question. Did you see Colonel Hawkins, or have any conversation with him, 
after the surrender ? 

Answer. I did not. I felt so disgusted with him that I never spoke a word 
to him after the surrender. 

Captain John W. Beattie, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To what regiment do you belong 1 

Answer. I am a captain in the 7th Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Were you at Union City when it was surrendered ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What was our force there 1 

Answer. Something near five hundred, altogether. There were some there 
that did not belong to our regiment. 

Question. What was the force that attacked you? 

Answer. From 1,500 to 1,800, as near as we could learn from the rebel offi- 
cers while we were with them. 



72 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. What rebel officers were in command there 

Answer. The surrender was made to Colonel Duckworth ; hvit I am not 
certain whether it was Duckworth or Faulkner who had the command. 

Question. Will you state briefly the circumstances attending the attack and 
surrender of Union City? 

Answer. Our pickets were driven in about 4 o'clock in the morning. We' 
sent some men out to see what force it was. As soon as it was light enough to 
sec we found the rebels were all around our camp. Skirmishing commenced all 
around. Those of our men who were out, and could get in, came in ; but some 
of the pickets did not get in at all. My company were almost all out on picket. 
The enemy, mounted men, made a charge on our camp ; they came up on all 
sides, but we drove them back. They then dismounted and made three other 
charges, and we drove them back each time. I did not see but one of our men 
killed ; and I did not see any that were wounded at all. One of my sergeants 
was killed. About 9 o'clock, I should think, the enemy got behind logs and 
stum2)S, and all such places, and commenced sharpshooting. If a man raised his 
head up, there Avould be a shot fired at him. We put out the best of our men as 
sharpshooters. A great many of our men lay down inside of our works and 
went to sleep, as they felt altogether easy about the matter. I think it was 
about half past ten o'clock when the bugle was sounded to cease firing ; and 
fifteen minutes before eleven they sent in a flag of truce demanding an uncon- 
ditional surrender. Colonel Hawkins called the officers together and asked 
them v/hat they thought best to be done. All were in favor of fighting. Whea 
he asked me about it I told him that if they had artillery they could whip us;. 
but if they had no artillery we could fight them till hell froze over; those wer& 
my very words. Then the telegraph operator said that he had seen two pieces 
of artillery. He had my glass, and had been up in a little log shanty, where 
he could see all over the ground. Colonel Hawkins said if they had artillery, 
and we renewed the fight, like enough they would kill every man of us they 
got. So we agreed then he should make the surrender on condition that we 
should be paroled there, without being taken away from the place, and each one 
allowed to keep his private property, and the officers allowed to keep their 
fire-arms. He went out to make the surrender on those conditions ; and if they 
did not accept them, then we were to fight them as long as a man was left. He 
went out, and the next thing I knew there was an order came there for us to 
march our men out and lay down their arms. We marched them out in front 
of his headquarters and laid down our arms. The rebels then piled into our 
camp and cleaned out everything ; what they could not carry off they burned. 
We were then marched off. The colonel had not then told us on what condi- 
tions the surrender was made ; he only said he supposed we would be paroled. 

Question. The enemy had used no artillery? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you find out subsequently Avhether or not they had any ar- 
tillery ? 

Answer. They had tv/o pieces of artillery, but they did not have them at 
Union City. 

Question. Where was it ? 

Answer. Oa the way from Dresden to Paducah. They told me it was in 
supporting distance ; that they could have had it at Union City in a short time j. 
but I heard so many stories I did not know v/hat to believe. 

Question. Did you suppose at the time you made the surrender that re-en- 
forcements were approaching you ? 

Answer. The colonel could not tell us whether any re-enforcements were 
coming or not. 

Question. How far was Union City from Columbus ? 

Answer. I think it was twcnty-rJx miles ; but I am not certain. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE, 73 

Question. You supposed rociifbrceniGnts would come from there, if at call 1 

Answer. From Cairo. 

Question. How far were you from Cairo ? 

Answer. It is about forty-six miles from here to Uniou City. You would 
have to go from here to Columbus, and from Columbus out to Union City. 

Question. How long did you remain with the eucmy 1 

Answer. From Thursday until Monday night. 

Question. How did you eifect yoxir escape? 

Answer. We were not guarded very closely. When I was ready to leave I 
went into the kitchen, just after supper, and asked for some bread and meat for 
a man who was sick. The cook gave it to me, and I then went out the door 
and called Captain Parsons, and asked him if he did not want to go down and 
see the boys ; that I had got a piece of meat to take down. He said yes ; but 
instead of going down to see the boys Ave turned off into the woods. 

Question. At what point did you come into our lines ? 

Answer. We came in at Waverly landing'. 

By the chairman : 
Question. Have you heard since that re-enforcements under General Braynian 
were approaching to your relief? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you hear how near they had got to you 'I 
Answer. Within six miles of the place at four o'clock that morning. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Had you any conversation with the rebel officers while you were 
with them? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you hear them say anything about negro troops, &c. ? 

Answer. Not much. I was talking Avith them about our regiment. They 
said when they first started to come there that they were going to get us, and 
seemed to be surprised to thijok we had fought them as well as ^ve did, for they 
said they expected to get us without any trouble. 

Question. Did they say Avhy they expected to get you without any trouble ? 

Answer. No, sir. They said they would parole Hawkins again, and let him 
get some more horses, and knives, and things, and then they would come when 
they wanted him again. 

Question. How did they treat our men ? 

Answer. They gave them nothing to eat until the second night, when they 
gave them about an ounce of fat bacon each. Some got a little bread, but a 
a few of them, however. On Sunday morning they marched the men xip in 
front of the court-house, passed them in one at a time and searched them, taking 
boots, hats, coats, blankets, an(l money from them. 

Question. Did they leave you without boots, coats, or blankets? 

Answer. There Avere a great many of our men Avho had noAv boots, and the 
rebels Avould take the new boots and give them their old ones, and so they ex- 
changed hats and blankets. 

Question. Hoav many days Avere you iw reaching our lines after you escaped 
from tlie rebels? 

Answer. I reached Waverly landing on Thursday, the 7th of April, and 
Cairo in two weeks from the time that I got away from them. 

Captain P. K. Parsous, sAvorn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Were yon a-t Union City v/lien that place was surrendered? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 



74 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. State briefly tlie circumstances attending tlie attack there and the 
surrender. 

Answer. I think it was a few minutes after 4 o'clock in the morning that 
•our pickets were driven- in by the enemy. I was then^sent out to look after 
them, and commenced skirmishing with them just at daylight. Before sun-up 
they had surrounded the fort. They then made three or four charges, two on 
horseback, I believe, but they were repulsed very easily. They then did not 
do anything but use their sharpshooters until about ten minutes before 11 
o'clock, when they sent in a flag of truce demanding an unconditional sur- 
render. The colonel Avent out and received the demand and brought it in. He 
then called the officers together and asked what we thought of the matter. He 
turned to Captain Harris, as the oldest ofiicer, and asked him what we should 
do. The captain said he was for fighting, and I believe other officers there said 
" fight." The colonel then asked me to ride out Avith him, and I did so. On our 
way out I told the colonel that I thought we had the rebels whipped unless 
they had re-enforcements, which I did not think they had. They gave us fif- 
teen minutes more to consider. Then some officers said they thought they saw 
artillery ovrt there. Captain Beattic said if they had artillery they could whip 
us, but not without. The colonel then went out and made an unconditional 
surrender of the fort, about sixteen officers and about 500 men. I guess there 
■were 300 men and officers out of the 500 who wanted to fight. 

Question. Did you see any artillery? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question, They had none there 1 

A«nswer. No, sir; I rode out as far as I dared go to see, and I dia not see 
anything with the glass I had but an ambulance; there Avas no artillery there 
at all. 

Question. To what do you attribute the surrender by Colonel Hawkins 1 

Answer. It is hard for me to make up my mind about that. Colonel Haw- 
kins was a first lieutenant of a company in the IMexican war and I fought under 
him there, and I have fought under him in this war, and I never saw any 
cowardice about him before. I think this Avas one of the most cowardly sur- 
renders there ever Avas. Still, I cannot think Colonel Hawkins is a coward; at 
least I never saw any show of coAvardice in him before. I could see no reason 
for surrendering when we had but one man killed or hurt in the fort. 

Question. You escaped from the enemy? 

AnsAver. Yes, sir. 

Question. How did you effect your escape! 

AnsAver. J escaped Avith Captain Beattie. 

Question. How long were you with the enemy? 

Answer. Four days and a half. 

Question. Who did you understand was in command of the rebels? 

AnsAver. Colonel Duckworth. 

Question. How many men did he liaA^e? 

AnsAver. From the best information I could get there were about 1,500 of 
them. Several of their officers said they had 1,250 men, regular troops, and 
four independent companies. That Avas their statement to me. 

Question. Had you a good position at Union City ? 

Answer. It Avas a very good position against small arms ; it was not strong 
against artillery. 

Question. Did you know anything about re-enforcements coming to you? 

Answer. We were looking for re-enforcements. We had a despatch to hold 
the place, that re-enforcements would be sent. 

Question, From whom was that despatch ? 

Answer. From General Brayman. 

Question, Did Cslonel HaAvkins receive that despatch before he surrendered? 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE 75 

Answer. Yes, sir; the day before the fight, before the wire was cut. He was 
y^ettiug a despatch when the wire was cut; we did not know what that despatch 
was. But the one he got before was an order to hohl the place, that re -enforce- 
ments would be sent to him. We were looking for them to come that morning 
or that night. I heard some rebel officers* and men say they had come 450 
miles for our regiment, and that they had known they would get it. I asked 
them how they knew they would get it, but they would not tell me. A rebel 
eursed Colonel Hawkins ; said he was a God damned coward, but he had good 
men. 

Question. Were our men in good spirits before the surrender? 

Answer. TBey were just as cool and quiet as you ever saw men ; not a bit 
excited, but talking and laughing. 

Mrs. Rosa Johnson, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Where have you been living? 

Answer. I have a home at Hickman, Kentucky, but have been at Fort 
Pillow. 

Question. Did you live there? 

Answer. No, sir; my sou was there, and I went down to stay with him. 

Question. Where were you during the fight? 

Answer. I was on a big island, where the gunboat men took us. I staid 
there a part of two days and one night. 

Question. Did you go back to Fort Pillow after the fight? 

Answer. Yes, sir; the gunboat took us over there. 

'Question. When did you go back there? 

Answer. The battle was on Tuesday, and I went back Wednesday evening. 

Question. Had our wounded men been taken away when you went back? 

Answer. Yes, sir, I believe so. 

Question. How long did you stay there? 

Answer. I went about 2 o'clock in the evening, and staid till night. 

Question. Did you go about the fort after you went back? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I went up in it, expecting to find my son lying there, and 
I went around, where I saw some half buried, some with feet out, or hands out, 
or heads out; but I could not find him. I was so distressed that I could not 
tell much about it. 

Question. Did you see anybody nailed to any boards there? 

Answer. We saw a man lying there, burned they said; but I did not go 
close to him. I was looking all aj'ound the fort for my child, and did not pay 
attention to anything else. 

Question. You came away that night? 

Answer. I think we did. 

Question. Is that all you know about it ? 

Answer, That is about all I know about it. There was a pile of dirt there, 
and there was a crack in it, which looked like a wounded man had been buried 
there, and had tried to get out, and had jammed the dirt, for they buried the 
wounded and the dead altogether there. There were others knew about that. 

Mrs. Rebecca Williams, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

•Question. Where do you reside? 

Answer, In Obion county, Tennessee. 

Question. Was your husband in that fight at Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you there during the fight? 



76 FORT PILLOW ?.:assacre. 

Answer. I was over on tlie island with Mrs. Jolmson. 

Question. Did you go back to Fort Pillow after the battle? 

Answer, Yes, sir. 

Question. What did you sec there ? 

Answer. I did not see anything more than what Mrs. Johnson saw. I saw 
.H burned man. He was lying right where a house was burned. He was a 
white man, but f:s I was alone by myself, I felt frightened, and did not look at 
it. I saw many buried there, some half buried, and negroes lying around 
there unburied. I heard that there was a man nailed up to a building and 
burned, but I did not see it. 
» Question. What time of day was it that you were there? 

Answer. About 2 o'clock, the day after the fight. 1 saw that the man who 
was burned was a white man Mrs. Ruffin was there and examined it, and can 
tell you all about it. 

Captain James H. Odlin, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the service? 

Answer. I am a captain, and assistant adjutant general and chief of staff for 
General Brayman, for the district of Cairo, where I have been stationed since 
the 23d of Janua- y, 1864. 

Question. Do you know anything about the capture of Fort Pillow? 

Answer. Only from hearsay. 

Question. You are acquainted somewhat with the circumstances attending the 
surrender of Union City? 

Answer. Yes. sir. 

Question. Will you tell us about that? 

Answer. About 4 o'clock on the evening of the 23d of March we received a 
telegram that it was likely Union City would be attacked within two days. 
Shortly afterwards we received a telegram from Colonel Hawkins that he Avould 
be attacked within 24 hours. He said his men had not seen the enemy, but 
that his information was reliable. General Brayman instructed me to proceed 
by special boat to Columbus, and from thence, by special train, to Union City, 
to inquire into the matter, find out the truth of the case, and let him know; also, 
to find out whether re-enforcements were necessary. I left Cairo about 5 
p. m. on the 23d, arrived at Columbus about half past seven o'clock, and imme- 
diately proceeded to the telegraph office and telegraphed to Colonel Hawkins, 
asking him if he had any further information. He answered that he had none. 
I then asked him if his information and his despatches could be relied upon, and 
whether he had seen the enemy. He answered that none of his men had seen ' 
the enemy ; that he had not seen any one who had seen the enemy, but that his 
information was entirely reliable, and that he would be attacked, there was no 
doubt of it. 

I then proceeded, by special train, to Union City, and had a consultation with 
Colonel Hawkins. He told me that the ferries on the Obion had been destroyed, 
and that scouts whom he had expected in the day before had not returned; that 
he supposed that they were captured, or that it Avas impossible for them to get 
across the Obion. He said that his men had not seen the enemy; that he could 
not get any of them across the Obion in consequence of the rebel forces having 
destroyed the private ferries, and guarding the other places. 

About half past 3 o'clock on the morning of the 24th a messenger came in 
and stated that the pickets at the bridge on the Dresden and Hickman road had 
been attacked and driven in, and that they were probably cut ofiF, which after- 
wards proved to be the fact. The messenger also reported that, when shots 
were exchanged, he thought the rebels had brought artillery to the front, but 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 77 

he could not be certain of that ; that it sounded on the bridge like artillery. I 
immediately directed Colonel Hawkins to have his men saddle their horses 
ready for a fight. I instructed him, if he saw fit, and thought he could not hold 
the place, to abandon it and fall back on Columbus. He asked me how soon 
I would re-enforce him if he remained there. I told him I would re-enforce him 
lUst as quick as I could get the troops up there. He said he thought he could 
hold the place with his regiment if he had some artillery ; but that, he could not 
contend against artillery without he had some himself. I told him I did not 
want him to retreat without having seen the enemy ; that he must have a skir- 
mish with them, and feel their strength, before falling back to Columbus ; that 
I did not want the command disgraced by retreating without seeing the enemy, 
which it would be if the reports should prove false, or he found that he had fallen 
back before a small number of men. 

I then told Colonel Hawkins I must leave, for my orders were nut to endan- 
ger the train, but to save it. The train consisted of nine cars and a locomotive, 
and was loaded with stores from Union City belonging to the government and 
to the railroad company, and 150 contrabands, (railroad hands.) The last 
words I said to Colonel Hawkins were, that if he found he could not whip the 
enemy, he should immediately retreat to Columbus. He said that, if he did not 
fall back, he would hold the place until re-enforcements reached him. I told him 
I would immediately push forward re-enforcements ; that the garrison at Co- 
lumbus consisted of only 1,100 men in all, and that 900 and odd of them were 
negroes, who had never been in a fight, and that re-enforcements would have to 
come from Cairo. I wrote a telegraphic despatch at the time to General Bray- 
man, giving all the facts. But while it was being sent, the wires were cut, and 
we did not get the half of it through. 

I then started to return to Columbus with the train, with the distinct imder- 
standing with Colonel Hawkins that he should either hold Union City until 
re-enforcements should arrive, or fall back to Columbus. The State line bridge 
was burning as I cross8d it with the train, the evident intention of the rebels 
being to capture the train. I succeeded, however, in getting it through to 
Columbus safe. 

Colonel Lawrence, commanding at Columbus, had telegraphed General 
Brayman that communications with Union City were cut off; that I was on the 
opposite side of the bridge, and that Colonel Hawkins was probably attacked. 
General Brayman immediately forwarded re-enforcements to Columbus, taking 
2,000 men belonging to General Veatch's command, then on their way up the 
T(;nnessee river. He had received telegraphic orders from General Sherman 
not to take any of those troops out of their proper course, but forward them as 
soon as possible up the Tennessee. As transports Avcre not ready for them, and 
as General Brayman could go to Union City and back again before transporta- 
tion would be ready, he concluded to use some of the troops for the purpose of 
re-enforciug Union City. The movement was made with as little delay as pos- 
sible. He arrived at Columbus about ten or half past ten o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the 24thy and immediately proceeded on a railroad train towards Union 
City. Upon arriving within about seven miles of Union City, we were informed, 
by citizens and some scouts, that Colonel Hawkins had surrendered at 11 
o'clock of that day ; that the rebels had destroyed all the works and the govern- 
ment property, and had retreated. General Brayman being fully convinced that 
Union City had been surrendered, everything there destroyed, and that the 
enemy had fled, returned to Columbus, and from thence to Cairo, with the troops 
ready to be forv/arded up the Tennessee in obedience to the orders of General 
Sherman. 

Question. Will you now state what you know in relation to the attack on 
Paducah 1 

Answer. About 8 o'clock on the nijrht of the 25th of March we received a 



78 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE 

telegraphic despatch from the operator at Metropolis, stating that a big light was- 
seen in the direction of Paducah ; that it looked as if the town or some boats- 
were burning. The despatch also stated that the telegraph repairer had come 
in and reported that he had been within two miles of Paducah, and had heard 
firing there. We had received, previous to this, no intimation from Colonel 
Hicks, commanding at Paducah, that the place was in danger of an attack. In 
obedience to instructions from General Brayman, I immediately got on a de- 
spatch boat, furnished by Captain Pennock, of the navy, and v/ith Captain 
Shirk, of the navy, proceeded to Paducah. We found, on our arrival there, 
that Greneral Forrest, with his command of about 6,500 men, had attacked 
Paducah in the afternoon, about 3 o'clock, the troops under Colonel Hicks 
having only about fifteen minutes notice of their coming. Colonel Hicks's 
scouts had returned from the road over which the rebels had come in, and re- 
ported that they had heard nothing of the enemy. They were just about send- 
ing out new scouts when the rebels dashed into the town, driving our pickets in, 
and driving our troops into the fort. As the rear of the battalion of the 16tk 
Kentucky cavalry were marching into the fort they were fired upon by the 
rebels. 

After fighting a short time, the rebels sent in a demand, under flag of truce, 
for the unconditional surrender of all the forces under Colonel Hicks's command, 
and all the government property, stating that, if he should comply with the 
demand, his troops should be treated as prisoners of war ; if not, then an over- 
whelming force woidd be thrown against him, and no quarter would be shown 
him. Colonel Hicks replied by stating that he had been placed there by his 
government to hold and defend the place and the public stores there, and that 
be should obey the command of his superior officer, and do so ; that he was pre- 
pared for the enemy, and should not surrender. 

Forrest then again attacked the fort, making tliree difFerent charges. Our 
troops, both black and white, behavecl in the most gallant and meritorious 
manner, fighting most bravely. After fighting until half past seven or eight 
o'clock in the evening our ammunition began to run short, so much so that 
men and officers began to count their cartridges. Colonel Hicks had only 3,000 
rounds of small ammunition left when Forrest made the second demand for a 
surrender. But Colonel Hicks, as before, positively refused to comply witli 
the demand. Firing then ceased until daylight the next morning. 

During this cessation of firing 1 succeeded in getting into the fort with re- 
enforcements and a small supply of ammunition from the gunboats. The supply 
of ammunition from Cairo did not arrive until the evening. As it was impos- 
sible to get any despatches through from Colonel Hicks, the line being cut, we 
knew nothing when I left Cairo of his being short of ammunition. The under- 
standing we had with Colonel Hicks, befon.; any attack was made, was that we 
had a large supply of ammunition on hand ; that there were about 33,000 
cartridges, calibre 58, on hand — that being the calibre used by the troops there — 
and a large supply of artillery ammunition in the fort. 

The next morning, about six o'clock, the enemy again advanced in line of 
battle towards the fort. There was some firing on both sides, but it did not 
amount to much. Some of the rebel troops, while their main body was firing. 
at the fort, were engaged in pillaging the town, stealing property from private 
citizens, horses, and government stores, burning houses, and committing all sorts 
of depredations. 

While the flag of truce was at the fort the first, second, and third times, the 
rebel troops were taking new positions in line of battle, although they had 
made a distinct agreement and understanding with Colonel Hicks that while 
the flag of truce was in. there should be no movenients of troops on either side ; 
that everything sheuld remain as it was. 

While the fight was going ©n, women, children, and other non-combatants 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 79" 

came running down to the river towards the gunboats. The ofHcers in the fort 
and on the gunboats called to them to run down to the river bank to the left of 
our fort. They did so, and under cover of the gunboats they got on a wharf 
boat or a little ferry-boat and were ferried across the river as fast as possible. 
While they were doing this the rebel sharpshooters got in among them, so that 
we could not fire upon them without killing the women and children, and fired 
on our troops in the fort and on the gunboats, Avounding one officer on a gun- 
boat and two men. They also made women stand up in front of their sharp- 
shooters^vhere it was impossible for us to return the fire without killing the 
women.^They also fired into houses where there were women, and where there 
were none of our soldiers. They also went into a hospital, took the surgeon 
of the hospital prisoner, and took a lady that was there and carried her oft' and 
took her clothing from her, leaving her nothing but an old dress to cover herself 
with. This woman, as well as Dr. Hart, the surgeon of the hospital, Avere 
taken away by them as prisoners. All the prisoners taken there by Forrest, 
with the exception of three or four men, were^ick men from the hospital, unable 
to move or walk from the hospital to the fort without injury to their health. 
All the men who were able to walk were brought from the hospital to the fort. 
They took the rest of the men from the hospital, and under the third flag of 
truce offered to exchange them. This Colonel Hicks ^nd myself refused, 
because we thought it treachery on their part. We also refused for the reason 
that we did not think they had a right to take as prisoners of war men in the 
hospital who were unable to v/alk without danger to their lives. Yet the rebels 
took those men and marched them ten miles, and then camped them down in a 
swampy piece of ground at night, with their clothes nearly all taken from them. 
Some of them were left bareheaded and barefooted, with nothing on but their 
pants and shirts, compelled to stay in that swampy ravine all night long, with 
nothing to eat, and not permitted to have fires. The next morning they were 
marched off again. I have certain knowledge that for two days and one night 
those sick men were compelled to march with the rebel troops without anything 
to eat, with hardly any clothing, and a number of them Avithout any boots or 
shoes. 

Question. Do you knoAv that the rebels placed women and other non-com- 
batants in front of their lines as they advanced towards the fort? 

Answer. They had women and children between us and their lines, and they 
stood behind them, the women and children forming a sort of breastwork for- 
the rebels, as Ave Avere unable to return their fire for fear of killing the Avomen 
and children. Colonel Hicks reported to me that they took several women 
and compelled them to stand in front of their lines during the fight ; that there 
were Avomen and children between our fire and theirs ; that as the Avomen moved 
the rebels moved along Avith them, keeping behind them. 

Question. Have you any idea of the number of women and children they had 
thus placed in front of them ? 

AnsAvcr. It varied at different times. Colonel Hicks informed me that at one 
time the rebels held six women in front of them, refused to let them escape, but 
compelled them to stand there under the hottest of the fire. 

Question. Were those Avomen so placed that we could not fire upon the enemy 
with advantage without endangering the lives of the Avomen ? 

AnsAver. We could not fire upon them at that particular point Avithout endan- 
gering the lives of the women and children. 

Question. Do you knoAv Avhether the flag of truce was violated by the rebels 
at any time 1 

Answer. Yes, sir, it Avas. While the flag of truce was in they moved their 
troops into new positions ; they marched their troops around to the back of the 
fort, and brought them up through the timber, dashed up towards the fort at 
full speed, then turned ©ff towards the right of the fort, taking up their position 



80 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

between tlic fort and the town. During the first flag of truce they marched the 
majority of their forces, if not the whole of them, down into an open common 
between the fort, the river, and the town, along the river bank, then obliq^ucd 
olf to the left, and took position in line of battle off to the right of the fort as 
you faced the tov»m ; and at one time, while their troops were taking position 
between the town and the fort during a flag of truce, they had women placed in 
.front of their lines. 

Question. While they were making the movement ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. The rebel General Thompson with his forces tool^osition 
■on the right of the fort between the hospital and the fort while the fla^f truce 
was at the fort. The fact of the rebel movements was reported to Colonel 
Hicks, and he requested of the flag of truce that they should be stopped, as 
they had violated their word, it being distinctly understood that there should be 
no movements during that time, and the officer sent an orderly to stop it, but it 
was not done ; the troops continued to move. ' After they had placed their 
troops in position the flag of truce left the fort. As the flag of truce passed from 
the fort down through the town, the rebel troops escorting the flag shot down 
in the streets some citizens and some men straggling from the hospital. A 
charge was then immediately made on the fort, at which time the rebel General 
Thompson was killed. The rebels also, while the flag of truce was at the fort, 
pillaged the town, and robbed citizens on the streets who Avere on their way 
down to the river for the purpose of going across. They pillaged the town 
right in view of our gunboats ; and as soon as the flag of truce left the fort our 
gunboats opened upon the rebels, and drove them out of that part of the town. 

The morning after I arrived there, when the rebel forces advanced on the 
fort, they sent in a flag of truce asking for an exchange of prisoners, which was 
refused. It was a written communication from General Forrest, asking, if his 
request was granted, that Colonel Hicks, with one or two staff officers, would 
meet him at a point designated, when they would agree between themselves 
upon the exchange. Colonel Hicks replied that he had no authority to exchange 
prisoners ; otherwise he would be happy to do so. When this written reply 
was handed to the rebel officer in charge of the flag of truce, he asked three or 
four questions for the purpose of gaining time. Colonel Hicks and I both no- 
ticed this, and sent him off as sooii as possible. While this flag of truce was at 
the fort the rebels were taking position. They afterwards fell back into the 
timber. 

The main body of the rebels, Forrest with them, retreated on the Mayfield 
road, w^hile about 300 of his men remained in the town maldng movements and 
feints on the fort, to prevent our sending out and ascertaining his movements. 
Forrest, by that time, had found out that we had been re-enforced with troops, 
and that more boats were arriving ; also, that the navy had re-enforced as with 
two or three more gunboats. 

In the afternoon, about 5 o'clock, by Colonel Hicks 's consent and direction, 
I sent word to the gunboats to move up opposite the town and shell it at the 
head of Jersey street, our troops having seen squads of rebels in that part of the 
city. This the gimboats did. After that the town was quiet, the rebels who 
had remained there having been driven out by the shells. 

Question. Do you know what was our loss and the loss of the enemy there? 

Answer. Our loss altogether Avas 14 killed — of which 11 were negroes — and 
46 wounded ; I do not know how many of them were negroes. The rebels 
lost about 300 killed, and from 1,000 to 1,200 wounded. "That is what the 
citizens reported Forrest said, and we believed it to be correct from the number 
of graves we found, and from other circumstances. Forrest seized the Mayfield 
and Pilducah train and carried all his wounded off to Mayfield, except a few 
w^ho lay near the fort. 

Our black troops were very much expo.sed. The fort was in bad condition, 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE 81 

and the negro troops, with the heavy artillery, were compelled to stand up on 
the platforms to man the guns, their only protection there being a little bank or 
ridge of earth about knee high. Our loss in killed resulted from this exposure. 
The rebel troops got up on the tops of houses, and also in the hospital, and fired 
doAvn into the fort upon our gunners. But the troops fought bravely, without 
flinching ; as soon as a man fell at the guns, one of his comrades would drag 
him out of the way and take his place. The black troops, having muskets as 
well as serving the artillery, would load and fire their muskets while the artil- 
lery was being fired. The white, troops were better covered and had more pro- 
tection ; but they fought as well as any men could be expected to fight. 

Question. Will you state to us what jou know about the operations of the 
rebels against Columbus ? 

Answer. The first news we received of any operations against Columbus was 
about 12 o'clock in the day — I do not remember the exact day, but it was just 
before the attack on Fort Pillow. I received a written communication by 
despatch boat from Colonel Lawrence, commanding the post at Columbus, stating 
that he had received a communication from General Buford demanding an un- 
conditional surrender of the forces under his command, with all government 
property, with the assurance that the white troops would be treated as prisoners 
■of war, while the black troops, I think, would either be returned to their mas- 
ters, or made such disposition of as the rebels should see fit. To this Colonel 
Lawrence replied that he had been placed there by his government to defend 
the place and the government property and stores there, and that he should 
obey the orders of his superiors ; surrender, therefore, was out of the question. 

The rebel general then offered to give Colonel Lawrence half an hour to 
remove the women and children out of the town. Colonel Lawrence replied 
that he should immediately notify the women and children to leave on a boat ; 
that if he (the rebel general) attempted to attack the place, the lives of the 
women and children would rest on his head, but if he waited half an hour he 
would have them all out ; that he (Colonel Lawrence) would not ask them to 
w^ait, for he felt amply prepared to receive their attack. 

The flag of truce then returned. On their way out, or while the flag of truce 
was at the fort, the rebel cavalry occupied themselves in stealing horses that 
had been brought in by Union citizens, and stabled near our picket lines for 
protection. The rebels stole something like twenty-five or thirty horses belong- 
ing to Union men while this flag of truce was in. That was the last Colonel 
Lawrence heard of the enemy that day. Colonel Lawrence then gave notice 
that he should receive no more flags of truce from Forrest ; that as Forrest did 
not respect them, he should not himself respect them. That was all that occin-red 
at Columbus. 

Question. You have said that you went up to Paducah on a gunboat with 
Captain Shirk, of the navy : did he co-operate cordially with the land forces in 
repelling the attack upon Paducah ? 

Ansy>'er. He did. Captain Shirk and all his officers did everything in their 
power to aid us. He was very accommodating, even furnishing us with am- 
munition, although he himself was getting short of it. He had but a very small 
amount, yet he divided with us, giving us a share of Avhat he had. He also 
sent by boat to Metropolis all the despatches that were sent by Colonel Hicks 
and myself to General Brayman, and he sent a despatch boat to Cairo. To 
make sure that the information should get through, and to have supplies for- 
warded to us, the gunboats did everything in their power, and rendered great 
assistance in defending the place. 

Question. Has Captain Pennock, of the navy, co-operated cordially with the 
military authorities in their operations in this vicinity, where it has been possible 
for the navy to co-operate 1 

Ptep. Com. 63 6 



82 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Answer. Yes, sir ; Captain Pennock lias always be«n on band, always bad 
boats ready ; bas made sucb dispositions of bis boats that be could at any 
moment tbrow from one to tbree boats, and at one time as many as five boats, 
on any one point in tbe district, whenever asked to do so. At tbe time of tbe 
attack upon Paducab be was very prompt in furnishing us with a despatch boat 
and supplying us with ammunition. I believe he bas done everything in bis 
power to assist us in carrying out all our movements and operations. At tbe 
same time Captain Pennock laas labored under the difficulty of being compelled 
to send some of his boats up the Tennessee river with despatches for General 
Veatcb. I mention that to show that be has had to send some of his boats 
away. Yet be has always been ready to assist us at any time, night or day. 
The best feeling has always existed, and still exists, between the naval officers 
and tbe military authorities at this post, and at all tbe posts in the district ; 
and they co-operate cordially in carrying out all orders and measures that are 
deemed for the good of the service. 

John Penwcll, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. Where do you reside ? 

Answer. Detroit, Michigan. 

Question. Do you belong to tbe army 1 

Answer. I do not. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow Avhen it was attacked ? 
• Answer. Yes, sir ; this last time. 

Question. In what capacity were you there ? 

Answer. As a volunteer for tbe occasion. 

Question. Will you tell us, in your own way, what you saw there ? 

Answer. Nothing occurred of much account — only the fighting p.art of it — 
until after they sent the last flag of truce there. They kept onfighting, but the 
fort was not surrendered. While the flag of truce was outside the fort, and they 
were conferring together, I noticed and spoke about seeing men going around 
behind tbe fort. They who were out with the flag of truce came back and said 
they were not going to surrender, and commenced fighting again. I bad just 
fired my musket off, and beard a shot behind me. I saw tbe rebels come running 
right up to us. I Avas just feeling for a cartridge. They were as close as from 
here to the window, (about 10 feet.) I threw my musket down. A fellow who 
was ahead asked " if I surrendered." I said, " Yes." He said, " Die, then, you 
damned Yankee son of a bitch," and shot me, and I fell. Mo^-e passed by me, 
and commenced hallooing " Shoot him down," and tbree or foui" stopped where 
I was and jumped on me and stripped me, taking my boots and coat and hat, 
and $4:5 or $50 in greenbacks. 

Question. Where did they shoot you 1 

Answer. In the breast, and the ball passed right through. 

Question. Did you see other men shot after they bad surrendered ? 

Answer. I did not see any after I laid down, but I heard the hallooing 
around me, and begging them "Not to shoot," and then I heard them say 
" Shoot them down, shoot them down ! " In fact, when they stripped me, one 
of them said " He ain't dead," and they jerked me up and took off my coat. It 
hurt me pretty bad, and I cried out to them " Kill me, out and out." One of 
them said " Hit him a crack on the head," but another said " Let the poor fellow 
be, and get well, if he can. He bas nothing more left now." I fainted then. 
After I revived I crawled into a tent near where I was. A captain of artillery 
was in there very badly wounded. Some one bad thrown an overcoat over us 
after I got in there. In the night they roused us up, and wanted to know " If 
we wanted to be burned up." I said " No." They said " They were going to 
fire the tent, and we bad better get out," and wanted to knoAv if we could Avalk. 
I said " I could not." They helped me out and made me walk some, but 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 8^ 

carried the officer out. They took us to a liouse and left us^ there. They would 
not give usiany water, but told us to get it for ourselves. There were other 
wounded men there. Some petty officer came in there; and looked at us, and 
wanted to know how badly we were hurt. I said, " Pretty bad,'' and asked 
him for water, and he made some of the men fetch u.< some. We Lay there until 
the gunboat came up and commenced shelling, when they made us get out of that — 
help ourselves out the best way we could. Three of our own men were help- 
ing the wounded out of the houses, when they commenced burning them. Ahi 
soon as they saw I could wal.k a little, they started me up to headquarters wi;h 
a party. When we got to the gully the gunboat threw a shell, which kind of 
flurried them, and we got out of sight of them. I got alongside of a log, and 
laid there until a party from the boat came along picking up the wounded. 

Question. Did they have a hospital there that the wounded were put in 1 

Answer. There were four or five huts there together which they put thorn in. 
That was all the hospital I saw. 

Question. Do you know whether they burned anybody in there ? 

Answer. I do not know, but they hallooed to us to " Get out, if we did not 
want to get burned to death." I told an officer there, who was ordering the 
houses to be burned, to let some of the men go in there, as there were some 
eight or nine wounled men in there, and a negro who had his hip broken. Ho 
said " The white men can help themselves out, the damned nigger shan't come 
out of that." I do not know whether they got the wounded out or not. I got 
out, because I could manage to walk a little. It was very painful for me to 
walk, but I could bear the pain better than run the risk of being burned up. 

Question. Do you know anything about rebel officers being on the boat, and 
our officers asking them to drink 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. There were several rebel officers on board the Platte 
Valley. I went on board the boat, and took my seat right in front of the 
saloon. I knew the bar-tender, and wanted to get a chance to get some xAno, 
as I was very weak. I was jugt going to step up to the bar, when one of our 
officers, a lieutenant or a captain, I don't know which, stepped in front of me 
and almost shoved me away, and called up one of the rebel officers and took a 
drink with him ; and I saw our officers drinking with the rebel officers several 
times. 

Columbus, Kentucky, April 24, 1864. 
Colonel Wm. H. Lawrence, sworn and e«x-amined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the army 1 

Answer. I am colonel of the 34th New Jersey volunteers. 

Question. Where are yoit stationed now, and how long have you been there 
stationed 1 

Answer. I am stationed at Columbus, and have been there since the end of 
January last. 

Question. What do you know with regard to the attack and capture of Fort 
Pillow ? 

Answer. All I knoAV about that is, that General Shipley arrived here on the 
13th of April. He took me one side, and told me that as he passed Fort Pillow 
he w\as hailed from a gunboat, and told that there had been severe fighting 
there ; that he saw a flag of truce at Fort Pillow, and that, after passing the 
fort a little distance, he saw the American flag hauled down, or the halliards 
shot away, he did not know which ; and he afterward saw a flag, which was 
not raised higher than a regimental flag, and that he believed Fort Pillow had 
surrendered. He then ofiered me two batteries of light artillery, which he said 
were fully manned and equipped. He repeated this same, conversation to 
General Brayman, as I understand, after arriving at Cairo. 



84 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Did lie give any reason why he did not undertake to assist the gar- 
rison at Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question.. From his conversation, did you gather that he was in a condition 
to render assistance 1 

Answer, [After a pause.] It struck me as the most remarkable thing in the 
world that he had not found out positively ; had not landed his batteries, and 
gone to the assistance of Fort Pillow. 

Question. Under what circumstances did you understand he was there ? 

Answer. The steamer on which he was passed by there. I am under the 
impression that he had also two or three hundred infantry on the steamer. 

Dr. Chapman Underwood, sAvorn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Where do you reside ? 

Answer. I reside in Tennessee. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow, or on board a gunboat, during the attack 
there 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I was there. 

Question. What was your position 1 

Answer. I was sent from there, about ten days before that, on detached ser- 
vice, looking after convalescents, and returned on the Saturday evening before 
the fight on Tuesday morning. I was acting assistant surgeon. The regiment 
was not full enough to have a surgeon with the regl^lar rank. 

Question. Will you state what came Avithin your own observation in connex- 
ion with the attack and capture ? 

Answer. I roomed with Lieutenant Logan, first lieutenant of company C, 
13th Tennessee cavalry. About sun-up, I got up as usual. About the time I 
got up and washed, the pickets ran in and said Forrest was coming to attack 
the fort. I started up to the fort. Lieutenant Logan knew the feeling the 
rebels had towards me, and told me to go on the gunboat. 

Question. What do you mean by that 1 

Answer. Well, they had been hunting me — had shot at me frequently. 
Faulkner's regiment, and a part of another, was raised in the country where I 
knew all of them. I was a notorious character with them, and always had to 
leave whenever they came around. The lieutenant advised me to go on board 
the gunboat for safety, and I did so. The attack came on then, and we fired 
from the gunboat, I think, some 260 or 270 rounds, and the sharpshooters on the 
boat A?ere firing, I among the rest. We fought on, I think, until about one or 
half past one. The rebels had not made much progress by that time. They 
then came in with a flag of truce, and firing ceased from the fort and gunboat, and 
all around. They had a conference, I think, of about three-quarters of an hour. 
They returned with the flag of truce; but in avery short time came back again with 
it to the fort, and had another interview. During the time the flag of truce was 
in there, there was no firing done from either side, but wc could see from the 
gunboat up the creek that the rebels were moving up towards the fort. The 
boat 'lay about 200 yards from the shore, right opposite the quarteimaster's de- 
partment. By the time the first flag of truce got to the fort, they commenced 
stealing the quartermaster's stores, and began packing them off up the hill. For 
an hour and a half, I reckon, there seemed to be above one or two hundred men 
engaged in it. 

Question. This was before the capture of the fort ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; while under the protection of the flag of truce. When the 
last flag of truce started back from the fort, in three minutes, or less, the firing 
opened again, and then they just rushed in all around, from every direction, 
like a swarm of bees, and overwhelmed everything. The men — white and 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 85 

black — all ruahed out of the fort togetlier, tlirew down their arms, and ran down 
the hill; butuiey shot them down like beeves, in every direction. I think I 
saw about 200 run down next to the water, and some of them into the water, 
and they shot them until I did not see a man standing. 

Question. How many do you think were shot after the capture of the fort, 
and after th9y threw down their arms ? 

Answer. Well, I think, from all the information I could gather, there were 
about 400 men killed after the capture, or 450. I think there were about 500 
and odd men killed there. A very great majority of them were killed after the 
surrender. I do not suppose there were more than 20 men killed before the 
fort was captured and the men threw down their arms and begged for quarter. 

Question. Was there any resistance on the part of our soldiers after the cap- 
ture of the fort 1 

Answer. None in the Avorld. They had no chance to make any resistance. 

Question. And they did not attempt to make any 1 

Answer. None that I could discover. There were about 500 black soldiers 
in all there, and about 200 whites able for duty. There were a great many of 
thera sick and in the hospital. 

Question. What happened after that 1 

Answer. They then got our cannon in the fort, and turned them on us, and 
we had to steam off up the river a little, knowing that they had got a couple of 
10 or 12-pounder Parrott guns. They threw three shells towards us. We 
steamed off up the river, anchored, and lay there all night. We returned 
the next morning. We got down near there, and discovered plenty of rebels 
on the hill, and a gunboat and another boat lying at the shore. We acted 
pretty cautiously, and held out a signal, and the gunboat answered it, and then 
we went in. When we got in there, the rebel General Chalmers was on board, 
and several other officers — majors, captains, orderlies, &c. — and bragged a great 
deal about their victory, and said it was a matter of no consequence. They 
hated to have such a light as that, when they could take no more men than 
they had there. One of the gunboat officers got into a squabble Avith them, and 
said they did not treat the flag of truce right. An officer — a captain, I think — 
who was going home, came up and said that, "Damn them, he had 18 fights 
with them, but he would not treat them as prisoners of war after that," and that 
he intended to go home, and would enlist again. Chalmers said that he would 
treat him as a prisoner of war, but that they would not treat as prisoners of war 
the "home-made Yankees," meaning the loyal Tenuesseeaus. There wei'e some 
sick men in the hospital, but I Avas afraid to go on shore after the rebels got 
there. I merely went on shore, but did not pretend to leave the boat. 

Question. Did you see any person shot there the next morning after you 
returned ? 

Answer. I heard a gun or a pistol fired up the bank, and soon afterwards a 
negro woman came in, who was shot through the knee, and said it was done 
about that time. I heard frequent shooting up where the fort was, but I did 
not go up to see what was done. 

Fort Pillow, Tennessee, Aj)ril 25, 1S64. 

Captain James Marshall, SAvorn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the naval service 1 

Answer. I am an acting master, commanding the United States steamer New 
Era, gunboat No. 7. 

Question. Where is your boat 1 

Answer. My boat has been twenty-four hours' run from Fort Pillow. Since 
the attack here, that has been changed. At the time the fort was attacked, I 
was to make my principal headquarters here. 



8G FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Were you present with your gunboat at tlie time Foft Pillow was 
attacked and captured ? 

Answer. I was. 

Question. Please describe that affair. 

Answer. At six o'clock, on the morning of the 12th of April, Major Booth 
sent me word that the rebels were advancing on us. I immediately got the 
ship cleared for action. I gave the men their breakfasts. I had no idea that 
there would be a fight. I thought it would merely be a little skirmish. I went 
out into the stream. Major Booth and myself had previously established signals, 
by which he could indicate certain points where he would Avant me to use my 
guns. He first signalled me to commence firing up what we call No. 1 ravine, 
just below the quartermaster's department, and I commenced firing there. Then 
he signalled me to fire up Coal Creek ravine No. 3, and I then moved up there. 
Before I left down here at ravine No. 1 the rebel sharpshooters were firing at 
me rapidly. I came along up, and the women and children, some sick negroes, 
and boys, were standing around a great barge. I told them to get into the 
barge if they wanted to save themselves, and when I came down again I would 
take them out of danger. They went in, and I towed them up and landed them 
above Coal Creek, where the rebel sharpshooters commenced firing at them. 
The next time I moved up Coal Creek ravine I told them to go on up to a 
house, as the rebels were firing upon them. The trees and bushes around them 
there probably prevented them from being hit. On knowing that they were 
fired at much, I kept a steady fire up to about one o'clock. At that time the 
fire had ceased or slackened, and everything seemed to be quieting down, and 
I thought, perhaps, they were waiting to get a little rest. My men were very 
tired, not having had anything to eat since morning, and the officers nothing at 
all. I ran over on the bar to clean out my guns and refresh my men. We 
had fired 282 rounds of shell, shrapnell, and canister, and my guns were getting 
foul. While Ave were lying on the bar a flag of truce came in — the first one. 
It Avas, I should judge, about half past six o'clock. While the flag of truce 
was in, some of the officers came to me and told me the rebels Avere robbing the 
quartermaster's department. I went out on the deck and saAV them doing so. 
Some of the officers said that Ave should go in and fire upon them ; that we 
could slay them very nicely. I remarked to them that that Avas not civilized 
Avarfare ; that two wrongs did not make a right ; and that if the rebels should 
take the fort afterwards they would say that they would be justified in doing 
anything they pleased, because I had fired on them while the flag of truce was 
in, although they were thus violating that flag of truce themseh'es. They were 
also moving their forces doAvn this hill, and were going up the ravine. When 
I saw that, I got under way, and stood off for the fort again, intending to stop 
it. I had only seventy-five rounds of ammunition left, but I told the boys that 
Ave Avould use that at any rate. The flag of truce started and Avent out, and I 
do not think it had been out more than five minutes when the assault was made. 
Major Bradford signalled to me that we were Avhipped. We had agreed on a 
signal that, if they had to leaA'e the fort, they would drop down under the bank, 
and I was to give the rebels canister. . I was lying up above here, but the 
rebels turned the guns in the fort on us — I think all of them — and a Parrott 
shot was fired but went over us. I had to leave, because, if I came down here, 
the channel Avould force me to go around the point, and then, with the guns in 
the fort, they would sink me. Had I been beloAv here at the time, I think I 
could have routed them out ; but part of our own men were in the fort at the 
same time, and I should have killed them as well as the rebels. The rebels 
kept firing on our men for at least twenty minutes after our flag was down. 
We said to one another that they could be giving no quarter. We could see 
the men fall, as they were shot, under the bank. I could not see whether they 
had arms or not. I was fearful that they might hail in a steamboat from' below, 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 87 

xiapturc her, put ou 400 or 500 men, and come after me. I wanted to get doAvu 
so as to give warning, and I did send word to Memphis to have all steamboats 
stopped for the present. The next morning the gunboat 28 and the transport 
Platte Valley came up. 

Question. When did you go ashore after the fort had been captured 1 

Answer. I went ashore the next morning, about ten o'clock, under a flag of 
truce, with a party of men and an officer, to gather up the wounded and bury 
the dead. I found men lying in the tents and in the fort, whose bodies were 
burning. There were two there that I saw that day that had been burned. 

Question. What was the appearance of the remains ? What do you infer 
from what you saw 1 

Answer. I supposed that they had been just set on fire there. There was 
no necessity for burning the bodies there with the buildings, because, if they 
had chosen, they could have dragged the bodies out. There was so little wood 
about any of those tents that I can hardly imderstand how the bodies could 
have been burned as they were. 

Question. Were the tents burned around the bodies ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. On the 14th of April (the second day after the capture) 
I came up again. . I had a lot of refugees on board, and as I came around I 
hoisted a white flag, intending to come in and see if there were any wounded 
or unburied bodies here. When I landed here, I saw, I should judge, at least 
fifty cavalry over on Flower island, and while I was lying here with a white flag 
they set fire to an empty coal barge I had towed over there. I put the refugees 
on the shore, took down the white flag, and started after them, and commenced 
shelling them, and the gunboats 34 and 15 and the despatch boat Volunteer 
came down and opened on them. We did not see the rebels then, but saw- 
where they were setting wood piles on fire, and we followed them clear round 
and drove them off. At this time I received information that the body of 
Lieutenant Akerstrom had been burned ; that it was he who was burned in the 
house. Some of the refugees told me this, and also that they had taken him 
out and buried him. There was also one negro who had been thrown in a hole 
and buried alive. We took him out, but he lived only a few minutes afterwards. 
After we had followed these rebels around to the head of Island 30, I came 
back to the fort, landed, and took on board the refugees I had put on shore. 
The next morning the three gunboats landed here, and we sent out pickets, and 
then sent men around to look up the dead. We found a number there not 
buried, besides one man whose body was so burnt that we had to take a shovel m 
to take up his remains. 

Question. Was he burned where there was a tent or a building 1 

Answer. Where there was a building. 

Question. Do you know whether there were any wounded men burned in ' 
those buildings ? 

Answer. I do not. All I know about that is what I was told by Lieutenant 
Leming, who said that while he was lying here wounded, he heard some of the 
soldiers say that there were some wounded negroes in those buildings, who said, 
" You are trying to get this gunboat back to shell us, are you, God damn you," 
and then shot them down. I went to Memphis, and then had to go to Cairo. 
I was then ordered to patrol the river from here (Fort Pillow) to Memphis. I 
started down on my first trip on Friday morning last. I arrived at Memphis 
on Friday afternoon. I mentioned there the manner in which our men had been 
buried here by the rebels, and said that I thought humanity dictated that they 
should be taken up and buried as they ought to be. The general ordered some 
men to be detailed, with rations, to come up here and rebury them properly. 
They have come here, and have been engaged in that work since they came up. 

Question. How many have you already found ? 



88 FOET PILLOW MASSACRE 

Answer. We have found already fifty-two white men and four officers, besides 
a great many colored men. 

Question. Had the blacks and whites been buried together indiscriminately ? 

Answer. We have not found it so exactly ; we have found them in the same 
trench, but the white men mostly at one end, and the black men at the other ; 
but they were all pitched in in any way — some on their faces, some on their sides, 
some on their backs. 

Question. Did you hear anything said about giving quarter or not giving 
quarter on that occasion ? 

Answer. No, sir ; but our paymaster here could tell you what he heard some 
of their officers say. 

Question. Do you know anything about the transport Platte Valley being 
here ? 

Answer. She was lying alongside the gunboat 28 here when I came down 
the day after the fight, and came alongside of her. 

Question. Do you know anything about any of our officers showing civilities 
to the rebel officers after all these atrocities ? 

Answer. I saw nothing of that kind but one lieutenant, who went ixp around 
with them on the hill. Who he was I do not know, but I recollect noticing 
his stripe. 

Question. Did he belong to the navy or army 1 

Answer. He belonged to the army. I saw the rebel General Chalmers but 
once. When I came down here that morning I was the ranking officer ; but 
the captain of gunboat 28 had commenced negotiations with the flag of truce, 
and I told him to go on with it. I met those men in the cabin of the 28 on 
business. I was not on board the Platte Valley but once, except that I crossed 
over her bow once or twice. I was not on her where I could see anything oi 
this kind going on. 

Question. Hoav many of our men do you suppose were killed after they had 
surrendered ? 

Answer. I could not say. I have been told that there were not over 25 killed 
and wounded before the fort v/as captured. 

Question. Do you know how many have been killed in all ? 

Answer. My own crew buried, of those who were left vmburied, some 70 or 
80. The Platte Valley buried a great many, and the gunboat 28 buried some. 

Question, What number do you suppose escaped out of the garrison 1 

Answer. I have no means of knowing. I have understood that the rebels 
had 160 prisoners — white men — but I think it is doubtful if they had that many, 
judging from the number of men we have found. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Where did those men come from whose bodies we have just seen 
unburied 1 

Answer. I should judge they came from the hospital. One of them had a 
cane, showing that he was not a well man, and they had on white shirts — hos- 
pital clothing — and, as you saw, one looked thin, very thin, as if he had been 
sick. 

Question. How far are these bodies lying from the hospital ? 

Answer. I should think about 150 yards. 

Question, Would men, escaping from the fort, run in that direction ? 

Answer, They would be very apt to run in almost any direction; and they 
would be more likely to run away from the stores that these rebels were robbing. 
By the chairman : 

Question. From the hospital clothing they had on; from their appearance,, 
showing that they had been Avounded or sick persons ; and from the bruised ap- 
pearance of their heads, as if they had been killed by having their brains knocked. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 89 

out, do you infer that they were hospital patients that had been murdered there? 

Answer. I should. I should be just as positive of that as I should be of any- 
thing I had not actually seen. 

Question. You take it that they were sick or wounded men endeavoring to 
escape from the hospital, who were knocked in the head 1 

Answer. I should say so. 

Paymaster William B. Purdy, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank, and where have you been stationed, and in 
what service ? 

Answer. Acting assistant paymaster of the navy. I have no regular station 
or quarters at present ; but on the day of the attack on Fort Pillow I was act- 
ing as signal officer on the gunboat No. 7. 

Question. Will you state. what you observed that day, and afterwards, in re- 
lation to that affair 1 

Answer. After our flag was dov/n, I saw the rebels firing on our own men 
from the fort, and I should .s;',y that while the flag of truce Avas in, before the 
fort was captured, I could see the rebels concentrating their forces so as to be 
better able to take the fort. 

Question. Do you mean that they took advantage of the flag of truce to place 
their men in position so as to better attack the fort ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I could see them moving down to their new positions, and, 
as soon as the flag of truce was out, firing commenced from these new positions. 

Question. Do you understand such movements to be in accordance with the 
rules of warfare 1 

Answer. No, sir; I do not. 

Question. Had you any coversation* with one of General Chalmers's aids 
about their conduct here ] 

Answer. Yes, sir; with one who .said he was an aide-de-camp to General Chal- 
mers, and a captain in the 2d Missouri cavalry. He told me that they did not 
recognize negroes as United States soldiers, but would shoot them, and show 
them no quarter — neither the negroes nor their officers. 

Question. When was this ] 

Answer. That was the day after the capture of the fort, wh^e the flag of 
truce was in. He then spoke in relation to the Tennesse<i loyal troops. He 
said they did not think much of them; that they were refugees and deserters; 
and they would not show them much mercy either. 

Question. Was this said in defence of their conduct here 1 

Answer. No, sir; there was not much said about that. Pie opened the con- 
versation himself. 

Question. How many of our men do you suppose were killed here after our 
flag Avas down and they had surrendered 1 

Answer. I have no idea, only from what citizens have told me. They said 
there were not more than 25 or 3m killed before the place was captured; that 
all the rest were killed after the capture, and after the flag was down. 

Question. Were you on the ground the day after the fight 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did yoii discover upon the field, or learn, from any information 
derived there, of any act of peculiar barbarity? 

Answer. I saw men who had been shot in the face, and I have since seen a 
body that was burned out?-ide of the fort. The day after the fight I did not go 
inside the fort at all. 

Que.-tion. Did you see tht: rcmu.nus if one Avho had been nailed to a board 
or plank ? 



90 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Answer. 1 did not see that. 

Question. Then it was anofher body that had been burned which you saw ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. It has been said that men were buried alive. Did any such in- 
formation come to your notice 1 

Answer. I heard of it, but did not see it. 

Question. What was said about it 1 

Answer. A young man said he saw one ia the morning up there who was 
alive, and he went back a short time afterwards to attend to him, but he was 
then dead; and I have heard of others who crawled out of their graves, and 
were taken up on the Platte Valley, but I do not know aboitt them. 

Question. Where was this man you found burned ? 

Answer. He was inside of a tent. 

Question. Do you suppose him to have been burned with the tent 1 
' Answer. Yes, sir. I took him to be a white man, because he was in the 
quarters where the white men were. 

Question. So far as you could observe, was any discrimination made between 
white and black men, as to giving no quarter ? 

Answer. I should think not, from all I could see, because they were firing 
from the top of a liill down the bluff on all who had gone down there to escape. 

Question. Did you notice how these men had been buried by the rebels 1 

Answer. I saw officers and Avhite men and black men thrown into the 
trenches — pitched in in any way, some across, some lengthways, some on their 
faces, &c. When I first saw them, I noticed a great many with their hands or 
feet sticking out. 

Question. Have you lately discovered any that are still unburied ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you see the three there to-day that were lying unburied ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I heard about thenf but did not go to see them. 

Eli A. Bangs, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Do you belong to the navy or the army 1 

Answer. To the navy. 

Question. In what capacity ? 

Answer. Acting master's mate for the New Era gunboat. 

Question. Were you here on the day of the fight at Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. I was. 

Question. Tell us what you observed in regard to the battle, and what followed. 

Answer. I did not observe much of the first part of the engagement, because 
I was stationed below, in a division, with the guns ; but after we hauled out in- 
to the stream I saw the flag of truce come in, and then I saw our colors come 
down at the fort, and saw our men running down the bank, the rebels following 
them and shooting them after they had surrendered. 

Question. What number do you suppose the rebels killed after they had sur- 
rendered ? 

Answer. I could not say, only from what I saw the next day when I went 
-ashore. 

Question. You. were there the next day 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; we came in under a flag of truce. 

Question. What did you see ? 

Answer. Captain Marshall sent me out with a detail of men to collect the 
wounded and bury the dead. We buried some 70 or 80 bodies, 11 white men 
and one white woman. 

Question. Did you bury any officers ? 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 91 

Auswer. No, sir ; I buried none of them. They were buried by the rebels. 

Question. Did you observe how the dead had been buried by the rebels ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I saw those in the trench. Some had just been thrown 
in the trench at the end of the fort — Avhite and black together — and a little dirt 
thrown over them ; some had their hands or feet or face out. I should judge 
there were probably 100 bodies there. They had apparently thrown them in 
miscellaneously, and thrown a little dirt over them, not covering them up com- 
pletely. 

Question. Did you see or hear anything there that led you to believe that 
any had been buried before they were dead ? 

Answer. I did not see any myself, but I understand from a number of others 
liat they had seen it, and had dug one out of the trench who was still alive. • 

Question. Did you see any peculiar marks of barbarity, as inflicted upon the 
dead? 

Answer. I saw none that I noticed, except in tlie case of one black man that 
' I took up off a tent floor. He lay on his back, with his arms stretched out. 
Part of his arms were burned offhand his legs Avere burned nearly to a crisp. 
His stomach was bare. The clothes had either been torn off, or burned off. In 
order to take away the remains, I slipped some pieces of board under him, and 
when we took him up the boards of the tent came up with him; and we then 
observed that nails had been driven through his clothes and his cartridge-box, 
so as to fasten him down to the floor. His face was not burned, but was very 
much distorted, as if he had died in great pain. Several others noticed the 
nails through his clothes which fastened him down. 

Question. Do you think there can be any doubt about his having been nailed 
to the boards ? 

Answer. I think not, from the fact that the boards came up with the remains 
as we raised them up ; and we then saw the nails sticking through his clothes, 
and into the boards. 

Question. Did you notice any other bodies that had been burned ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I buried four that had been burned. 

Question. What was the appearance of them? 

Answer. I did not notice any particular appearance about them, except that 
they had been burned. 

Question. How came they to be burned 1 

Answer. They were in the tents, inside of the fort, which had been burned. 
I am certain that there were four that lay where the tent had been burned, for 
there were the remains of the boards under them, which had not been fully burned. 
Those that were burned in the fort were black men. 

Charles Hicks, sworn and examiued. 

By the chairman:- 

Question. Were you on the ground after the battle of Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; the day after the battle. 

Question. What did you see there ? 

Answer. A great many dead men. 

Question. Did you see any man there that had been nailed down to a board 
and burned? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw the nails through his clothes after he was taken up. 

Question. In what position did he lie 1 

Answer. On his back. There were nails through his clothes and through 
the cartridge-box. 

Question. So that it fast(nied him to the boards in such a way that he could 
not get up, even if he had been alive ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, in just that way. 



92 FOET PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. When you tried to take liiui up you raised the boards with him ? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

A. H. Hook, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. Did you see the man that Charles Hicks has just spoken of? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I saw him. His body was part-ly burned, and I saw the 
nails through his clothes, and into the floor of the tent. 

Question. The tent had been burned 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; there were three or four bodies burned there, but this man 
in particular was nailed down. 

George Mantell, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Were you on the ground at Fort Pillow at the time that these men, 
who have just testified, spoke of? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. You have heard their testimony ? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Do you agree with them ? 
Answer. Yes, sir ; I saw the same. 

Sergeant Henry F. Weaver, sworn and examined 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. To company C, 6th United States heavy artillery, colored. I am a 
sergeant. 

Question. You were here at Fort Pillow at the time of the fight ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State briefly what yon saw, particularly after the capture. 

Answer. The rebels charged after the flag of truce,, the Tennessee cavalry 
broke, and was followed down the hill by the colored soldiers. They all appeared 
to go about the same time, as near as I could tell in the excitement of the battle. 
I came down the hill to the river and jumped into the water, and hid myself 
between the bank and the coal barge. They Avere shooting the negroes over 
my head all the time, and they were falling off into the water. The firing 
ceased a little, and I began to get out. I saw one of the rebels and told him I 
would surrender. He said, " We do not shoot white men." I went up to him 
and he ordered me away ; he kept on shooting the negroes. There were six or 
eight around there, and he and another one shot them all down. I went up about 
a rod further and met another rebel, who robbed me of watch, money, and every- 
thing else, and then he left me. I Avent on to the quartermaster's building below 
here, and was taken by another rebel and taken up into the town. He Avent 
into a store and I went in Avith him. He went to pillaging. I slipped on some 
citizen's clothing, and it AA^as not long before I saAV that they did not knoAV Avho 
I was. I staid Avith them until the sun Avas about an hour high, and then I 
AA^CHt aAvay. I Avalked off just as if I had a right to go. 

Question. Where did you go ? 

Answer. I Avent doAvu the river, just back of the old river batteries. I then 
got on board a tug-boat and came doAvn here, and the Sunday afterwards went 
to Memphis. 

Question. Did you have any conversation with these rebels 1 

AnsAver. Not anything of arjy consequence about the fight. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 93 

Question. What were they doing when you were with them 1 

Answer. Just pillaging the store. They commenced going down to the river, 
and I came down Avith them. They went into the quartennaster's department 
and went a carrying off things. 

Question. Did they give any quarter to the negroes 1 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did the negroes throw away their arms ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and some of them went down on their knees begging for 
their lives. I saw one shot three times before he was killed. 

By the chairman : 

Question. What number of our troops do you suppose were killed before the 
fort was captured ? 

Answer. 1 could not tell exactly, but I do not think over a dozen of the 
cavalry were killed, and probably not more than fifteen or twenty of the negroes. 
There were a great many of the negroes wounded, because they would keep 
getting up to shoot, and were where they could be hit. 

Question. The rebels must have killed a great many of the white men after 
they had surrendered ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, I saw yesterday afternoon a great number of cavalry 
taken up, and almost every one was shot in the head. A great many of them 
looked as if their heads had been beaten in. 

Question. That must haA'e been done after the fort had been captured ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; two-thirds of them must have been killed after the fort was 
taken. 

Question. Do you know why the gunboat did not fire upon the rebels after 
the fort was captured, while they were shooting do^^ our men ? 

Answer. They could not do that without killing our own men, too, as they 
were all mixed up together. 

Charles A. Schetky, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. What is your position 1 

AnsAver. I am acting ensign of the gunboat New Era. 

Question. Were you here at the time of the attack on Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State what j^ou saw after the fort was captured. 

Answer. After the flag was down I saw the rebels pouring down their bullets 
on our troops under the hill, although they were unarmed, and held up their 
hands in token of surrender. 

Question. Were they shooting the black men only, or the black and white 
together ? 

Answer. The black and white were both together under the hill, and the sick 
and wounded v/ere there, too. 

Question. How many do you think you saw shot in that way 1 

Answer. I should think I saw not less than fifty shot. 

Question. How many white men among those 1 

Answer. I could not tell. I judge that the number of whites and blacks 
were nearly equal. 

Question. You were here the day after the fight ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, but I was not ashore at all that day. My duty kept me 
on board the boat all the time. 



94 FOET PILLOW MASSA«KE. 

Frank Ilogan, (colored,) iiworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow on the day of the fight 1 

Answer. Yes, sh-. 

Question. In what company and regiment ? 

Answer. Company A, 6th United States heavy artillery. 

Question. What did you see there that day, especially after the fort was 
taken 1 

Answer. I saw them shoot a great many men after the fort was taken, officers 
and private soldiers, white and black. 

Q.uestion. After they had given up 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. I saw them shoot a captain in our battalion, about a 
quarter of ajn hour after he had surrendered. One of the secesh called him up 
to him, and asked him if he was an officer of a nigger regiment. He said, 
'' Yes," and then they shot him with a revolver. 

Question. Did they say anything more at the time they shot him ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; one of them said, " God damn you, 1 will give you a 
nigger officer." They talked with him a little time before they shot him. They 
asked him how he came to be there, and several other questions, and then asked 
if he belonged to a nigger regiment, and then they shot him. It was a secesh 
officer who shot him. I was standing a little behind. 

Question. What was the rank of the secesh officer 1 

Answer. He was a first lieutenant. I do not know his name. 

Question. Do you know the name of the officer he shot 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; Captain Carson, company D. 

Question. Why did thennot shoot you ? 

Answer. I do not know why they didn't. 

Question. How long did you stay with them 1 

Answer. I staid with them two nights and one day. They took me on 
Tuesday evening, and I got away from them Thursday morning, about two 
hours before daylight. They were going to make an early move that morning, 
and they s(j*it me back for some water, and I left with another boy in the same 
company with myself. 

Question. Where did you go then 1 

Answer. Right straight through the woods for about three or four miles, and 
then we turned to the right and came to a road. We crossed the road, went 
down about three miles, and crossed it again, and I kept on, backvv'ards and 
forwards, until I got to a creek about five or six miles from here. 

Question. Do you know anything of the rebels burning any of the tents that 
had wounded men in them ? 

Answer. I know they set some on fire that had wounded men in them, but I 
(lid not see them burn, because they would not let us go around to see. 

Question. About what time of the day was that 1 

Answer. It was when the sun was about an hour or three-quarters on from 
the day of the battle. 

Question. Did you hear the men in there after they set the building on fire ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I heard them in there. I knew they were in there. I 
knew that they were there sick. I saw them shoot one or two men who came 
out of the hospital, and then they went into the tents, and then shot them right 
in the tents. I saw them shoot two of them right in the head. When they 
charged the fort they did not look into the tents, but when they came back 
afterwards they shot those sick men in the head. I knew the men, because 
they belonged to the company I did. One of them was named Dennis Gibbs,. 
and the other was named Alfred Flag. 

Question. How long had they been sick l 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 95- 

AnsAver. They liad been sick at the hospital in Memphit^, and had got better 
a little, and been brought up here, but they never did any duty here, and went 
to the hoypital. They came out of the hospital and went into these tents, and 
were killed there. They were in the hospital the morning of the fight. When 
the fight commenced, they left the hospital and came into the tents inside 
the fort. 

Question. Did you sec them bury any of our men 1 

Answer. I saw them put them in a ditch. I did not see them cover them up. 

Question. Were they all really dead or not 1 

Answer. I saw them bury one man alive, and heard the sccesh speak about 
it as much as twenty times. He was shot in the side, but he was not dead, and 
was breathing along right good. 

Question. Did you see the man 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How came they to bury him when he was alive ? 

Answer. They said he would die any how, and they would let him stay.. 
Every once in a while, if they put dirt on him, he would move his hands. I 
was standing right there, and saw him when they put him in, and saw he was- 
not dead. 

Question. Have you seen the three bodies that are now lying over beyond 
the old hospital ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you know them 'I 

'Answer. I knew one of them. I helped to take him to the hospital an the 
Sunday before the fight. There was another man there. I knew the company 
he belonged to, (company B,) but I do not know his name. He was a colored 
man, but he had hair nearly straight, like a white ny^n or an Indian. He had 
been sick a great while. 

Captain James Marshall, recalled. 

By the chairman : 
Question. Does this witness (Hogaii) speak ©f the same men that you sup- 
posed were fleeing from the hospital when they were killed 1 
Answer. Yes, sir, the same men. 

Frank Hogan, resumed. 

By the chairman : 

Question. What did they do with the prisonei'S they took away with them ? 

Answer. I saw several officers of our regiment, and some of the men. 

Question. Did you hear anything said about Major Bradford ? 

Answer. The first night after they had taken the fort. Major Bradford was 
there without any guard. Colonel McCullough waked us up to make a fire, 
and Major Bradford Avalked up and asked the liberty to go out a while. He 
came back, and I went to sleep, leaving Major Bradford sitting at the fire. 
When they waked up the next morning, they asked where Major Bradford 
was, and I told them he was lying there by the fire. They uncovered the head, 
of the man who was lying there, but they said it was not Major Bradford. That 
was only a short distance from here. 1 did riot see him afterwards. 

Alfred Coleman, (colored,) sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong 1 
Answer. Company B, 6th United States heavy artillery. 
Question. Were you at Fort Pillow at the time of the fight ? 



96 ' FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. AVere you captured here 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. About wliat time 1 

Answer. About six o'clock, I should think. 

Question. Where did they take you to ? 

Answer. Out towards Brownsville, between twelve and eighteen miles. 

Question. What did you do after you were captured ? 

Answer. I helped to bury some of the dead ; then I came to the commissary 
store, and helped to carry out some forage. 

Question. Did you hear the rebels say anything about a fight 1 

Answer. Nothing more than it was the hardest fight they had been in, with 
the force we had here. I was then with the 2d Missouri cavalry. 

Question. What did they say about giving quarter 1 

Answer. They said they woitld show no quarter to colored troops, nor to any 
of the officers with them, but would kill them all. 

Question. Who said that 1 

Answer. One of the captains of the 2d Missouri. He shot six himself, but, 
towards evening, General Forrest issued an order not to kill any more negroes, 
because they wanted them to help to haul the artillery out. 

Questio/i. How do you know that 1 

Answer. This captain said so. 

Question. Were colored men used for that purpose "? 

Answer. Y^es, sir. I saw them puUiug the artillery, and I saw the secesh 
whip them as they were going out, just like they were horses. 

Question. How many men did you see that way 1 

Answer. There were sotne ten or twelv3 men hold of a piece that I saw 
coming out. The secesh said they had been talking about fighting under the 
black flag, but that they had come as nigh fulfilling that here as if they had a 
black flag. 

Question. How long did you stay with them 1 

xlnswer. I was taken on the Tuesday evening after the fight, and remained 
v.ith them until about an hour before day of Thursday morning. I then took 
a sack of corn to feed the horses, and got the horses between me and them, and, 
as it was dark and drizzling rain, I left them and escaped. 

Question. Did you see any of the shooting going on 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. I was lying right under the side of the hill where the 
most of the men were killed. I saw them take one of the Tennessee cavalry, 
who was wounded in one leg, so that he could not stand on it. Two men took 
him, and made him stand up on one leg, and then shot him down. That was 
about four o'clock in the afternoon. 

Question. How many do you think you saw them shoot ? 

Answer. The captain that carried me off shot six colored men himself, with 
a revolver. I saw him shoot them. I cannot state about the rest. 

Question. Did you see more than one white man shot ? 

Answer. No, sir. The others that were killed were a little nearer the water 
than I was. I was lying down under a white-oak log near the fort, and could 
not see a great way. 

Question. Do you know how many of their men were lost 1 

Answer. I heard some of them say, when they went out towards Brownsville, 
that they had lost about 300 killed, wounded, and missing. 

Question. How many of our men were killed before the fort was taken 1 

Answer. I do not think there were more than ten or fifteen men killed before 
the fort was taken. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 97 



Memphis, Tennessee, April 26, 1864. 
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H. Harii.s, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the service 1 

Answer. I am a lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general of the 16th 
army corps. 

Question. Hoav many troops do your records show to have gone from the Gth 
United States heavy artillery (colored) to Fort Pillow ] 

Answer. There were 221 officers and men left Memphis to go to Fort Pillow. 

Question. How many whites went there ? 

Answer. None were sent from here. I understand, unofficially, that the col- 
ored troops were recruited, to some extent, after they arrived at Fort Pillow ; 
but I have no official knowledge of that fact. Of the 221 officers and men who 
-went from here, there are thirty here who escaped, and some twenty or more 
above at Mound City and Cairo. 

Question. Do you know what was the character and military experience of 
Major Bradford ? 

Answer. To the best of my knowledge and belief, Major Bradford had no mili- 
tary experience. I had knoAvn him for about a year. He never claimed to 
liave had any military experience. 

Question. What was the character of Major Booth as a military man 1 

Answer. It was good. He was originally sergeant major of the 1st Missouri 
light artillery, and was an officer of experience and tried courage, and of irre- 
proachable character. 

Question. Do you know whether or not any information was received here 
that Fort Pillow was threatened before it was actually attacked 1 

Answer. I know that Major Booth assured General Hurlbut that he stood 
in no danger, and begged him not to feel any apprehension. General Hurlbirt, 
I believe, answered that report by sending Major Booth two additional guns, 
with a fresh supply of ammunition. 

Questiou. How long have you been here in this department ? 

AnsAver. Since the 1st of August, 1862. 

Question. Have you, during that time, been familiar with the condition of 
the garrison at Fort Pillow 1 

Answer. I have been flimiliar with it since the 1st of May, 1863. 

Question. Has the garrison been entirely withdrawn from Fort Pillow at any 
time since then 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Why? 

Answer. In order to send troops for the Meridian expedition into Mississippi, 
under General Sherman. 

Question. For how long a period was Fort Pillow without a garrison ] 

Answer. Fort Pillow was evacuated about the 25th of January, 1864, and 
lemained unoccupied for a short time afterwards. 

Question. Why was a garrison again placed there 1 

Answer. JIajor Bradford was with his command at and near Columbus and 
Paducah, Kentucky, in the early part of this year. Finding recruiting very 
difficult there, he applied for permission to proceed to Fort Pillow and establish 
his headquarters there, as he believed that he could easily fill his regiment at 
that point. 

Questiou. It was then occupied rather as a recruiting station ihan for any other 
purpose at that time? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 



Pep. Com. 61 



98 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Do you know wlicther it lias been considered a military necessity 
to keep a garrison at Fort Pillow since the gunboats have been in the river ? 

Answer. It is one of the most important points on the whole river. It com- 
mands a very long stretch of the river, and a single Avell-manned field-piece 
there would stop navigation entirely. 

Question. When the garrison was removed from Fort Pillow, was it in pur- 
suance of any order from either General Grant or Genera) Sherman 1 

Answer. I cannot answer that definitely without looking at the records. 



Papers forwarded hy Liieutcnant Colvnel Harris to Washington. 

Headquarters 16tii Army Corps, 

MemjMs, Tennessee, April 26, 1864. 

I wish to state that one section of company D, 2d United States light artil-- 
lery, colored, (I commissioned officer and 40 men,) were sent to Fort Pillow 
about February 15, as part of the garrison. 

The garrison of Fort Pillow, by last reports received, consisted of the 1st 
battalion 6th United States heavy artillery, colored, eight commissioned offi- 
cers and 213 enlisted men ; one section company D, 2d United States light 
artillery, colored, one commissioned officer and forty men; 1st batallion 13tb 
Tennessee cavalry, Major H. F. Bradford, ten commissioned officers and 285 
enlisted men. 

Total white troops 295. 

Total colored troops 262 



557 



Six field pieces : two 6-pounders, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 10-pounder 
Parrott.s. 

T H. HARRIS, 
Lieutenant Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General... 



Headquarters 16th Army Corps, 

Memjilds, Tennessee, March 28, 1864. 

Sir: You will proceed with your own battalion to Fort Pillow, and establish.' 
your force in garrison of the works there. As yon will be, if I am correct in 
my memory, the senior officer at that post, you will take command, conferring, 
however, freely and fully with Major Bradford, loth Tennessee cavalry, whom, 
you will find a good officer, though not of much experience. 

There are two points of land fortified at Fort Pillow, one of which only is now 
held by our troops. You will occupy both, either with your own troops alone, 
or holding one with yours, and giving the other in charge to Major Bradford. 

The positions are commanding and can be held by a small force against 
almost any odds. 

I shall send you at this time two 12-pound howitzers, as I hope it will not be 
necessary to mount heavy guns. 

You will, however, immediately examine the ground and the works, and if, in 
your opinion, 20-pound Parrotts can be advantageously used, I will order them- 
to you. My own opinion is, that there is not range enough. Major Bradford 
is well acquainted with the country, and should keep scouts well out and for^ 
ward; all information received direct to me. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 99 

I think Forrest's check at Paducali will not dispose him to try the river again,, 
hut that he will fall back to Jackson and thence cross the Tennessee; as soon 
as this is ascertained I shall withdraw your garrison. 

Nevertheless, act promptly in putting the works into perfect order, and the 
post into its strongest defence. Allow as little intercourse as possible with the 
country, and cause all supplies which go out to be examined with great strict- 
ness. No man whose loyalty is questionable should be allowed to come in or 
go out while the enemy is in West Tennessee. 
Your obedient servant, 

S. A. HURLBUT, 
Majar General. 
Major L. F. Booth, 

Com'dg \st Bait. 1st Alabama Siege Artillery. 

Headquarters IGtii Army Corps, 

Memphis, Tennessee, April 2G, 1864. 

A true copy. 

T. H. HARRIS, 

Assistant Adjutant General. 



[Extract.] 



HEADcii arters Fort Pillow, 

Fort Pillow, Tennessee, April 3, 18G4. 
General :******** 
Everything seems to be very quiet within a radius of from thirty to forty 
miles around, and I do not think any apprehensions need be felt or fears enter- 
tained in reference to this place being attacked, or even threatened. I think it 
perfectly safe. 

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

T. F. BOOTH, 
Meijor Qtth (J. S. Tleaiy Arlillery, colored, Coni'dg Fort^ 
Major General Hurlbut. 

Headquarters IGth Ar.my Corps, 

H^Iempliis, Tennessee, April 25, 1864. 
A true extract from the last report received from Major L. F. Booth, 6th 
United States heavy artillery, commanding Fort Pillow. 

T. H. HARRIS, 
Lieutenant Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General. 



Without application or requisition being made for the guns, General Hurlbut 
concluded to add two to the four already at the fort, and made the following 
order : 



Special Orders, ) Headquarters 16th AriMV Corps, 

No. 88. j Mempliis, Tennessee, April 7, 1S64. 

III. Captain J. 0. Heely, commanding ordnance depot, Memphis, Tennessee, 
will tiu-n over to Major L. F. Booth, 6th United States heavy artillery, two 
10-pounder Parrott gnns, complete, except caissons, with .1^0 rounds of amrau- 



100 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

nition per piece, aud Avill ship same, to-day, to Major Booth, atFort Pillow, Ten- 
nepsee. The quartermaster's department will furnish necessary transportation. 

* ;S* * * * * * * * 

By order of Major General S. A. Hurlbut. 

T. H. HARRIS, 

Assistant Adjutant General. 

A true copy. 

T. H. HARRIS, 

Assistant Adjutant General. 



United States Steamer Silver Cloud, 

Off 3Ie7}iphis, Tennessee, April 14, 1864. 

Sir : In compliance with your request that I would forward to you a written 
statement of what I witnessed and learned concerning the treatment of our 
troops by the rebels at the capture of Fort Pillow by their forces under General 
Forrest, 1 have the honor to submit the following report : 

Our garrison at Fort Pillow, consisting of some 350 colored troops and 200 
of the 13th Tennessee cavalry, refusing to surrendur, the place Avas carried by 
assault about 3 p. m. of the 12th instant. 1 arrived off the fort at 6 a. m. on 
the; morning of the 13th instant. Parties of rebel cavalry were picketed on the 
hills around the fort, and shelling those away. I made a landing and took on 
board some tAventy of our troops, some of them badly wounded, who had con- 
cealed themselves along the bank, aud came out when they saw my vessel. 
Whilst doing so I Avas fired upon by rebel sharpshooters posted on the hills, 
and one wounded man limping down to the vessel was shot. About 8 a. m. 
the enemy sent in a flag of truce, vv-ith a proposal from General Forrest that ho 
Avould put me in possession of the fort and the country around until 5 p.m., 
for the purpose of burying our dead aud removing our wounded, whom he had 
no means of attending to. I agreed to the terms proposed, and hailing the 
steamer Platte Valley, which vessel I had convoyed up from Memphis, I brought 
her alongside, and had the wounded brought down from the fort and battle- 
field and placed on board of her. Details of rebel soldiers assisted us in thi^ 
duty, aud some soldiers and citizens on board the Platte Valley volunteered for the 
same purpose. 

We found about seventy wounded men in the fort and around it, and buried, 
1 should think, 150 bodies. All the buildings around the fort, and the tents 
and huts in the fort, had been burned by the rebels, and among the embers 
the charred remains of numbers of our soldiers, Avho had suffered a terrible 
death in the flames, could bo seen. 

All the wounded, who had strength enough to speak, agreed that after the 
fort Avas taken an indiscriminate slaughter of our troops Avas carried on by the 
enemy, Avith a furious and vindictive savageness Avhich AA^as never equalled by 
the most merciless of the Indian tribes. Around on every side horrible testi- 
mony to the truth of this statement could be seen. 

Bodies Avith gaping Avounds, some bayoneted through the eyes, some Avith 
skulls beaten through, others Avith hideous Avounds, as if their bowels had been 
ripped open with BoAvie knive's, plainly told that but little quarter Avas shov/u 
to our troops, strewn from the fort to the river bank, in the raA^nes and hollows, 
behind logs and under the brush, AA^here they had crept for protection from the as- 
sassins Avho pursued them. We found bodies bayoneted, beaten, and shot to death, 
shoAviug hoAv cold-blooded and persistent Avas the slaughter of our unfortunate 
troops. Of course, Avhen a Avork is carried by assault there aa'111 ahvays be more or 
less blood shed, even Avhen all resistance has ce;;, cd; but here there Avere uumistak- 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 101 

able evidences of a massacre carried on long after any resistance could have 
been offered, witb a cold-blooded barbarity and perseverance wbieb nothing can 
palliate. 

As near as I can learn, there vv^ere about 500 men in the fort when it was 
stormed. I received about 100 men, (including the wounded and those I took 
on board before the flag of truce Avas sent in.) The rebels I learned had few 
prisoners, so that at least 300 of our troops must have been killed in this affair. 
I have the honor to forward a list of the wounded officers and men received 
from the enemy under flag of truce. 

I am, general, your obedient servant, 

W. FERGUSON, 
Acting Master IT. S. N., Com'dg U. S. Steamer Silver Cloud. 
Major General Hurlbut, 

Commanding IQth Army Corps. 

Headquarters 16th Army Corps, 

Memphis, Tennessee, April 24, 1864. 

A true copy. 

T. H. HARRIS, 

Asustant Adjutant General. 



W. R. McLagan sworn, and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Where were you born ? 

Answer. In Tennessee. 

Question. Where do you now reside ? 

Answer. St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Question. Were you at Fort Pillow on the day of its capture ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Where were you ? 

Answer. About sixteen miles off, at Covington. 

Question. Have you seen that statement 1 (showing witness statement ap- 
pended to this deposition.) 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I made that statement myself. 

Question. It is correct then? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you yourself see Major Bradford shof? 

Answer. I did. 

Question. How do you know it was Major Bradford ? 

Answer. He represented himself to me as a Major Bradford 1 

Question. Did you have any conversation with him ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and while VvX were marching from Covington to Browns 
ville I heard them call him Major Bradford. He told me himself that he was 
Major Bradford, but he did not wish it to be known, as he had enemies there ; 
and it never would ha-^e been known but for a detective in the confederate 
array from Obion county, Tennessee, named Willis Wright, who recognized him 
as Major Bradford, and told them of it. Wright is a notorious spy and smug- 
gler in Forrest's command. There is no doubt that the man was Major Brad- 
ford. 

Question. Was there anything said at the time he was shot 1 

Answer. Nothing more than what I said. 

Question. What did he say 1 

Answer. He simply said that he had fought them honorably and as a brave 
man, and wished to be treated as a prisoner of war. He was t.^ken prisoner at 



102 FORT riLLO\V >!ASSACRE. 

Fort Pillow, and was then sent to Covington, to the custody of a Colonel 
Duckworth, commanding the 7th Tennessee rebel cavalry, and from that place 
he was sent under guard, with about thirty of us conscripts. We arrived a1 
Brownsville on the 13th ; we started out on the evening of the 14th instant, 
about dusk. Previous to our leaving Brownsville, five of the guards were 
ordered back to Duckworth's headq^uarters. Those five guards seemed to hav(^ 
received special instructions about something, I don't know what. After march- 
ing about five miles from Brownsville, Ave halted, tliat is, the two companies oi 
the rebels. These five guards then took Major Bradford out about fifty yards 
from the road. He seemed to understand what they were going to do with 
him. He asked for mercy, and said that he had fought them manfully, and 
Avished to be treated as a prisoner of Avar. Three of the five guards shot him. 
One shot struck him about in the temple ; a second in the left breast, and the 
third shot Avent through the thick part oT the thigh. He Avas killed instantly. 
They left his body lying there. I escaped from the rebels at Jackson. I left 
on the Friday morning about 2 o'clock, and Saturday night about 12 o'clock I 
came back Avhcre the murder'' Avas committed, and saAv his body there, yet 
unburied. The moon Avas shining brightly, and it seemed to me that the 
buzzards had eaten his face considerably. 

Question. Did you hear them give any reason for shooting Major Bradford? 

AnsAver. Simply that he Avas a Tennessee traitor, and to them they showed 
no qiTartcr. They said that he Avas a Tennessean, and had joined the Yankee 
army, and they showed them no quarter. I think myself that the qrder for 
shooting Major Bradford was giA'en by Colonel Duckworth, for the reasons I 
have stated. 

Question. What was the officer in command at the time he Avas shot ? 

AnsAver. A lieutenant went out Avith him. He Avas one of the five guards, 

Question. Who commanded the two companies of rebels ? 

AnsAver. 1 do not knoAV who ranked in these two companies. Russell and 
LaAvlcr commanded the companies. Duckworth, who, I think, gave the order 
for killing Major Bradford, belongs to Chalmers's command. He is a notorious 
scoundrel. He' never had any reputation, either before the Avar or afterward. 

Question. Did Major Bradford hav'e on his uniform? 

AnsAver. No, sir. He had tried to conceal his identity as much as possible, 
by putting on citizen's clothes, as he said that he had enemies among them, Avho 
Avould kill him if they kncAV him. 

Question. Did you hear any of their officers say anything as to the manner 
in Avhich they treated our soldiers Avhom they had captured, and the Avay in 
Avhich they intended to treat them ? 

Answer. On the evening of the 12tli I Avas in Colonel Duckworth's head- 
quarters. I had not been conscripted then. I saw a despa-tch there from 
Forrest to Duckworth, dated that afternoon. It read something like this : 

" Colonel W. L. DuckAvorth, Covington, Tennessee. I have killed 300 and 
captured 300." 

DuckAvorth remarked to me previous to the attack that no quarter Avould be 
shown at Fort PilloAV at all ; that they Avere a set of damned Yankees and 
Tennessee traitors there, and they intended to show them no quarter. 

Question. When did be say this ? 

AnsAver. On the evening of the 11th of April, at Covington. 

Question. How long had you knoAvn DuckAvorth 1 

AnsAver. I never saw him before I saw liim there. 

Question. Did he say this to you ? 

AnsAver. I Avas not in conversation with him, but I heard him say this to a 
Captain Hill, a retired confederate captain, who formerly belonged to his com- 
mand. He wa^ Avithin five or six feet of me Avhen he said it. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 103 

Question. Were tliey talking at that time about the intended attack on Fort 
Pillow ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and five days' rations were ordered then, and Duckworth 
said they were going to take Fort Pillow, ai-ul no quarter would be shown 
at all. 

Question. Do you know how Major Bradford got to Covington, and when ? 

Answer. I think he arrived there on the evening of the 12th, just about dusk. 

Question. Did Major Bradford state to you that he desired to disguise himself? 

Answer. Yes, sir. Pie said that he had personal enemies in that command, 
among whom was this Willis Wright, who recognized him and told them who he 
was. Major Bradford was a native Tennesseean. 

Question. Did any of the conscripts who were with you see Major Bradford 
Bhot ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and I understand that one or two others, who escaped 
when I did, are here in the city ; and I shall try to get their statements. 

W. R. McLagan, a citizen of the United" States, being first duly sworn, states, 
upon oath, that for the last two years he has been trading between St. Louis, 
Missouri, and Covington, Tennessee ; that at the time of the attack upon Fort 
Pillow, April 12, 1864, he was at Covington, Tennessee, and was taken by 
General Forrest as a conscript on the 13th of April, with about thirty other 
citizens ; that on the evening of the 12th of April Major Bradford, 13th Ten- 
nessee cavalry. United States forces, arrived at Covington, under guard, as a 
prisoner of war, and was reported as such to Colonel Duckworth, commanding 
7th Tennessee cavalry, confederate forces; that on the 13th of April Major 
Bradford and the conscripts, including the affiant, were placed in charge of two 
companies of the 7th Tennessee cavalry. Captains Russell and Lawler command- 
ing. They were taken to Brownsville, li'ennessee, and started from there to Jack- 
son, Tennessee. When they had proceeded about five miles from Brownsville 
a halt was made, and Major Bradford was taken about fifty yards from the 
command by a guard of five confederate soldiers in charge of a lieutenant, and 
was there deliberately shot, three of the confederate soldiers discharging their 
fire-arms, all of which took effect, killing him instantly. This was on the 14th 
day of April, 1864, near dusk; that the body of Major Bradford was left im- 
buried in the woods about fifty yards from the road. The affiant, with the other 
conscripts, were taken on to Jackson, and on the 22d day of April the affiant 
and twenty-five others of the conscripts made their escape from the confederate 
forces at Jackson. On the way back he saw the body of Major Bradford lying 
in the same place where he was shot. This was on Saturday night, the 23d of 
April. Major Bradford, before he was shot, fell on his knees and said that he 
-had fought them manfully, and wished to be treated as a prisoner of war. 

W. R. McLAGAN. 

Headquarters District of West Tennessee, 

M.eini>lds, Tennessee, April 25, 1864. 
■ Subscribed and sworn to before me this day. 

T. H. HARRIS, 
Lieut. Col. and Ass't Adft Geiil 16//i Army Corps. 



104 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 



APPENDIX. 



The following papers and affidavits Avere furnished the committee by General 
Mason Brayman, at Cairo, and are herewith submitted : 

Cairo, lU'mois, April 18, 1864. 

We have the honor of reporting to you, as the only known survivors of the 
commissioned officers of the 13th Tennessee cavalry, that, on the morning of the 
1 2th day of the present month, at about the hour of daylight, the rebels, num- 
bpring from five thousand to seven thousand, attacked our garrison at Fort 
Pillow, Tennessee, numbering as it did only about five hundred effective men. 
They at first sent in a flag of truce demanding a surrender, which Major Booth, 
then commanding the post, (Major Booth, of the 6th United States heavy artil- 
lery, colored,) refused. Shortly after this Major Booth was shot through the 
heart and fell dead. Major William F. Bradford, then commanding the 13th 
Tennessee cavalry, assumed command of the fort, and under his orders a con- 
tinual fire was kept up until about one o'clock p. m., when our cannon and the 
rifles of the sharpshooters were mowing the rebels down iu such numbers that 
they could not make an advance. The rebels then hoisted a second flag of truce 
and sent it in, demanding an unconditional sun-ender. They also threatened that 
if the place was not surrendered no quarter would be shown. Major Bradford 
refused to accej^t any such terms, would not surrender, and sent back word that 
if such were their intentions they could try it on. While this flag of truce was 
being sent in the rebel officers formed their forces in whatever advantageous 
positions they were able to select. They then formed a hollow square around 
our garrison, placed their sharpshooters within our deserted barracks, and 
directed a galling fire upon our men. They also had one brigade in the trenches 
just outside the fort, which had been cut by our men only a few days before, 
and which provided them with as good protection as that held by the gan-ison 
in the fort. Their demand of the flag of truce having been refused, the order 
was given by General Forrest in person to charge upon the Avorks and show no 
quarter. Half an hour after the issuance of this order a scene of terror and 
massacre ensued. The rebels came pouring in solid masses right over the 
breastworks. Their numbers were perfectly ovenvhelming. The moment they 
reached the top of the walls, and commenced firing as they descended, the col- 
ored troops were panic-stricken, threw down their arms, and ran down the bluff, 
pursued sharply, begging for life. But escape was impossible. The confed- 
erates had apprehended such a result, and had placed a regiment of cavalry 
where it could cut off all effective retreat. This cavalry regiment employed, 
themselves in shooting down the negro troops as fast as they made their appear- 
ance. The whites, as soon as they perceived they were also to be butchered, 
inside the fort, also ran down. They had previously thrown down their arnis 
and submitted. In many instances the men begged for life at the hands of the- 
enemy, even on their knees. They were only made to stand upon their feet 
and then summarily shot down. Captain Theo. F. Bradford, of company A, 
13th Tennessee cavalry, was signal- officer for the gunboat, and was seen by 
General Forrest Avith the signal flags. The general, in person, ordered Captain 
Bradford to be shot. He was instantly riddled with bullets, nearly a full regi- 
ment having fired their pieces upon him. Lieutenaiit Wilson, of company A,. 
13th Tennessee cavalry, Avas killed after he had surrendered, he having beeu', 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 105- 

previously wounded. Lieutenant J. C. Akerstrom, company E, lotli Tennessee 
cavalry, and acting regimental quartermaster, Avas severely wounded after lie 
had surrendered, and then nailed to the side of a house and the house set on fire, 
burning him to death. Lieutenant Cord. Revelle, company E, 13th Tennessee 
cavalry, was shot and killed after surrender. Major William F. Bradford, com- 
manding our forces, was fired upon after he had surrendered the garrison. The 
rebels told him he could not surrender. He ran into the river and swam out 
some fifty yards, they all the time firing at him, but fjuling to hit him. He was 
hailed by an officer and told to return to the shore. He did so. But as he 
neared the shore the riflemen discharged their pieces at him again. Again they 
missed. He ran up the hillside among the enemy with a white handkerchief hi 
his hand in token of his surrender, but still they continued to fire upon him. 
There were several confederate officers standing near at the time. None of them 
ordered the firing to cease ; but when they found they could not hit him, they 
allowed him to give himself up as a prisoner, and paroled him to the limits of 
the camp. They now claim that he violated his parole the same night and es- 
caped. We have heard from prisoners who got away from the rebels that they 
took Major Bradford out in the Hatchic Bottom and there dispatched him. We 
feel confident that the story is true. Wf saw several negroes burning up in 
their quarters on Wednesday morning. We also saw the rebels come back that 
morning and .shoot at the wounded. Wo also saw them at a distance runnhig 
about hunting up wounded that they might shoot them. There were some 
whites also burning. The, rebels went to tht- negro hospital, where about thirty 
sick were kept, and butchered them with their sabres, hacking their heads open 
in many instances, and then set fire to the buildings. They killed every negro 
.soldier Wednesday morning upon whom they came. Those who were able they 
made stand up to be shot. In one case a white soldier was found wounded- 
He had been lying upon the ground nearly twenty- four hours without food or 
drink. He asked a rebel soldier to give liim something to drink. The latter 
turned about upon his heel and fired three deliberate shots at him, saying. 
'■ Take that, you negi'o equality." The poor fellow is alive yet and in the hos- 
pital. He can tell the tale for himself. They ran a groat many into the river, 
and shot or drowned them there. They immediately killed all the officers who 
were over the negro troops, excepting one who has since died from his wounds 
They took out from Fort Pillow about one hundred and some odd prisoners, 
(white,) and forty negroes. They hung and shot the negroes as they passed 
along toward Brownsville until they were rid of them all. Out of the six hun- 
dred troops (convalescents included) which were at the fort they have only 
about one hundred prisoners, (all whites,) and we have about fifty wounded who 
are paroled. 

Major Anderson, Forrest's assistant adjutant general, stated that they did not 
consider colored men as soldiers, but as property, and as such, being used by 
our people, they had destroyed them. This was concurred in by Forrest, Chal- 
mers, and McCullough, and other officers. 

We respectfully refer you to the accompanying affidavit of Hardy N. Revelle, 
lettered "A," and those of Mrs. Rufin, lettered "B," and' Mrs. Williams, let- 
tered " G." 

Respectfully submitted. 

F. A. SMITH, 
First Lieut. Co. D, 13t7t Tom. V<1. Catalry. 

WILLIAM CLEARY, 
Second Lieut. Co. B. 13t/i Tenn. Vol. Cavalry. 

General M. Brayman. 

A true copy. 

0. B. SMITH, 

L'tculenant and A. D. C 



106 FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Affidavit of Hardy N. Revelle. 

I was in business at Fort Pillow previous to the figlit on Tuesday last. Wa3 
engaged as a dry-goods clerk for Messrs. Harris & Co. Went into the fight at 
six o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, the 12th of April. Remained outside 
of the federal fortifications until about 8.30 a. m., acting as a sharpshooter. At 
this time we were all ordered within the fort. Lieutenant Barr was killed out- 
Bide the fort, also Lieutenant Wilson, latter of the 13th Tennessee cavalry. It 
was not long after nine o'clock that I took my position behind the fortifications 
and resumed the fight. I was standing not more than ten paces from Major 
Booth when he fell, struck in the heart by a musket bullet. It was but a few 
minutes past nine. He did not die immediately, but was borne from the field. 
-At this time there was continued firing on both sides. Rebels were not using 
artillery ; our troops were. 

The next thing I recollect is a flag of truce coming in, the bearers of which — 
General Foi-rest of the rebel army, and some parties of his staff — demanded a 
surrender of the garrison. Major Bradford was then in command. FoiTCSt did 
not come within the breastworks, but remained some fifty yards outside, and 
Major Bradford went out to meet him. They conferred in a southeasterly di- 
rection from what was known as " old headquarters." Bradford is said to have 
replied that he would not surrender. Forrest told him that if he did not there 
would not be any quarter shown. They were in conference about fifteen minutes, 
during which time there was a cessation of fii-ing. Bradford asked for one hour's 
time in which to confer with the commander of the gunboat. Forrest refused 
it ; but I think there was a pause in actual hostilities of nearly that length of 
time. The rebels were busily engaged in plundering our hastily deserted en- 
campment outside the fortifications, as well as robbing some of the stores below 
the hill. They were also massing their troops and placing them in eligible 
positions while the flag of truce was being considered. It is my opinion that 
they could never have gained the positions had they not done so under that 
flag of truce. They had already consumed seven or eight hours in attempting 
it with no success. 

At about half-past two in the afternoon a large force of infantry came upon 
us from the ravine toward the east of where I stood. It seemed to come down 
Cold creek. They charged upon our ranks. Another large force of rebel 
cavalry charged from the south of east, and another force from the northward. 
They mounted the breastworks at the first charge where I stood. We fired 
upon them while upon the breastworks. I remember firing two shots while the 
enemy were upon the walls. The negro troops, frightened by the appearance of 
such numbers, and knowing they could no longer resist, made a break and ran 
down the hill, surrendering their arms as the rebels came down on our side of 
the fortifications. When we found there was no quarter to be shown, and that, 
white and black, we were to be butchered, we also gave up our arms and passed 
down the hill. It is stated that at this time Major Bradford put a white handker- 
chief on his sword point aad waved it in token of submission; but it was not 
heeded if he dixi. We were followed closely and fiercely by the advancing 
rebel forces, their fire never ceasing at all. Our men had given signals them- 
selves that they surrendered, many of them throwing up their hands to show 
they were unarmed and submitted to overwhelming odds. 

I was about half way down the hill, partially secreted in a kind of ravine 
with Dr. Fitch, when I saw two men, white men, belonging to the 13th Tennes- 
see cavalry, standing behind a stump on which they had fixed a white handker- 
chief, their hands thrown up. They asked for quarter. When they stood on 
their feet they were exposed, and I saw them shot down by rebel soldiers and 
killed, A captain of the rebel troops then came where we were and ordered all 
the federals, white and black, to move up the hill, or he would " shoot their G-d 



FOKT riLLOW MASSACRE. 107 

td d br.iiiit^ out.' I started up the liill witli a number of others, in accordance 

with the order. I was surrendered with our men. While going up I saw white 
men fall ou both sides of me who were shot down by rebel soldiers Avho were 
stationed upon thn brow of the hill. We were at the time marching directly 
toward the men who fired upon us. I do not know how many fell, but I remem- 
ber to have seen four killed in this way. I also saw negroes shot down with 
p:stols in the hands of rebels. One was killed at my side. I saw another uegi'o 
struck ou the head with a sabre by a rebel soldier ; I suppose he was also 
killed. One more, just in front of me, was knocked down with the but of a 
musket. We kept on up the hill. I expected each moment to meet my fate 
with the rest. At the top of the hill I met a man named Cutler, a citizen of 
Fort Pillow. He spoke to a rebel captain about me, and we then went, under 
orders from the captain, to one of the stores under the hill, where the captain 
got a pair of boots. This was about 4 p. m. on Tuesday. The captain and 
Cutler and myself then left to find General McCullough's headquarters, where* 
we were to report and be disposed of. The captain introduced me to a lieuten 
ant and to a surgeon of the rebel anny. The surgeon made me show him where 
goods could be found. The lieutenant got a saddle and bridle and some bits, 
and then we helped them to carry them to where their horses were outside of the 
fortifications. I also met Mr. Wedlin. a citizen, and he accompanied us. He 
helped the lieutenant to mount and pack his goods, and then he gave Wedlin 
and myself permission to depart, and instructed us as to the best means of escape. 
1 am positive that up to the time of the surrender there had not been more 
than fifty mtn (black and white) killed and wounded on the Union side. Of 
the^e, but about twenty had been among the killed. The balance of all killed 
and wounded on our side were killed and wounded after we had given undoubted 
evid'^nce of a surrender, and contrary to all rules of warfare. 

H. N. REVELLE. 

Sworn to before me at Cairo, Illinois, this 17th day of April, 1864. 

JNO. H. MUNROE, 
Cnjytain and A. A. Gen'l. 
A true copy. 

0. B. SMITH, 
Lieutenant and A. D. C. 



Statement of Ann Jane Rufin. 

I am the wife of Thomas Rufin, a member of the 13th Tennessee cavalry; 
was at Fort Pillow on Tuesday, the 12th day of April, A. D. 1864, and ^as 
removed to an island during the progress of the battle. Returned to Fort Pil- 
low on Wednesday morning, the 13th of April, and saw the remains of a man 
lying upon the back, its arms outstretched, with some planks under it. The 
man had to all appearances been nailed to the side of the house, and then the 
building set on fire. I am satisfied that thi' body was that of Lieutenant John C. 
Akerstrom, second lieutenant company A, 13th Tennessee cavalry, who was on 
duty as quartermaster of the post of Fort Pillow. I was well acquainted with 
Lieutenant Akerstrom when living. After examining the body I walked around 
to a ditch where a large number of dead and wounded had been thrown and 
partially covered. I saw several places where the wounded had dug holes and 
attempted to get out, but had been unable to do so. 

her 

ANN JANE X RUFIN. 

maik. 



108 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Cairo, April 18, 1864. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this JStli day of April, 1864. 

ISAAC M. TALMADGE, 
Captain and District Provost Marshal. 
A true copy. 

C. B. SMITH, 
Lieutenant and A. D. C. 



Statement of Mrs. Rebecca JVi/lia?ns. 

I am tbe wife of William F. Williams, a private in the 13th Tennessee cav- 
alry, company D. 

I was at Fort Pillow on the Wednesday morning after the fight of Tuesday, 
the 12th of April, 1864, and saw the body of a man, which had the appearance 
of having been burned to death. It v.'as pointed out to me as the body of Lieu- 
tenant John C. Akerstrom, of the 13th Tennessee cavalry. I know it was the 
corpse of a white man. 

REBECCA X WILLIAMS. 

mark. 
Cairo, April 18, 1864. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this ISth day of April, 1864. 

ISAAC M. TALMADGE, 
Captain aiid District Provost Marshal. 

I, the undersigned, do certify that I also witnessed the same spectacle de- 
scribed by Mrs. Williams. 

her 

NANCY M. X HOPPER. 
mark. 
Cairo, April 18, 1864. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 18th day of April, 1864. 

ISAAC M. TALMADGE, 
Captain and District Provost Marshal. 
A true copy. 

C. B. SMITH, 
Lieutenant and A. D. C. 



James R. Brigham, a resident of Fredonia, Chautauque county, New York, 
deposes and says : 

He Avas and had been a clerk in a store at Fort Pillow over a year previous 
to the 12th April instant. On learning, early on the morning of the 12th instant, 
that the post was to be attacked by the confederates, he went immediately to the 
fort, and Avas engaged Avith a musket in defending the fort, when General Chal- 
mers was repulsed tAvice. After this, I was detailed to carry wounded down 
the hill, on Avhich the fort was situated, to the river bank, where, beside a large 
log, I raised a red flag as a sign of a hospital. The flag was made from part of 
a red flannel shirt. The last attack was made by General Forrest in person, 
who headed the column. Forrest was Avounded in three (3) diflerent places, and 
had his horse shot under him. 

Major Booth, of the regular army, was in command. He was killed about 11 
o'clock by a sharpshooter, Avhen Major Bradford, of the 13th Tennessee regiment, 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 109 

took command. Major Bradford was taken prisoner, and killed near Judge 
Green's, some six miles from tlie fort, Avliile a prisoner. 

When the confederates rushed into the fort, having taken advantage of a flag 
of truce to get their men close to the fort in a ravine and directly under the em- 
bankments, this force numbered some fifteen hundred, with a large reserve in 
sight. As soon as the confederates got into the fort, the federals threw down 
their arms in token of surrender, and many exclaimed, " We surrender." Im- 
mediately an indiscriminate massacre commenced on both black and white sol- 
diers. Up to the time of the surrender, I don't think more than from twenty to 
twenty-five had been killed, and not more than fifteen wounded. I was taken 
prisoner, and when marching with other prisoners, black and white, I saw the 
confederates shoot and kill and wound both white and black federal prisoners. 
Some negroes were severely beaten, but still able to go along. We were taken 
a few miles into the country, when myself and a few others got relieved by 
General McCullough, on the ground of being private citizens. I saw General 
Torrest, and knew he was wounded, as before stated. There were from twenty- 
five to thirty black soldiers carried off as prisoners, and not over thirty to 
thirty-five white. All the rest of that faithful and heroic garrison, some five or 
six hundred in number, were killed or wounded in action, or murdered or wounded 
after the surrender. I saw oflficers as well as privates kill and wound prisoners, 
and heard them say, while held a prisoner v.ith them in the country, that they 
intended taking the prisoners still further into the country, and make an exam- 
ple of them. 

Captain Bradford, of the 13th Tennessee, was engaged with a blue signal 
flag in connexion with gunboat No. 7. Captain Bradford was ordered shot by 
General Forrest, who said '-Shoot that man with the black flag." This was 
after the surrender. His body was literally shot to pieces. All, both black 
and white, fought manfully. I saw several negroes wounded, with blood run- 
ning from their bodies, still engaged loading and firing cannon and muskets 
cheerfully. There was no giviug way till fifteen hundred confederates rushed 
mside the fort. Most were killed outside the fort when prisoners. The fort 
was defended successfully for over eight hours by from 500 to 600 men against 
3,500 to 4,000 barbarians. I heard confederate officers say it was the hardest 
contested engagement that Forrest had ever been engaged in. I heard officers 
say they would never recognize negroes as prisoners of war, but would kill 
them when ever taken. Even if they cfiught a negro with blue clothes on 
(uniform) they would kill him. Officers of negro troops were treated and mur- 
dered the same as negroes themselves. 

After lynig in the woods two days and nights, I was picked up by gunboat 
No. 7, some 5 or 6 miles below the fort. 

On my return to the fort I saw and recognized the remains of Lieutenant 
Akerstrom; he had been nailed to a house and supposed burned alive. 

Tlrere were the remains of two negroes lying where the house burned. I 
was told they were nailed to the floor. I also found a negro partially buried, 
with his head out of the ground, alive. I went for assistance and water for him; 
when I returned he was so near dead that no assistance could save him. We 
sat by him till he died. 

I can recount but a small part of the barbarities I saw on tliat fatal day, 
when hundreds of loyal soldiers were murdered in cold blood. 

JAS. R. BINGHAAL 

Sworn before me at Cairo, Illinois, this ISth day of April, 1864. 

JNO. H. MUNROE, 
Assistant Adjutant General, 
A true copy. 

J. H. ODLIN, 
Assistant Adjutant General. 



110 FORT PILLOW MASSACEE. 



Cairo, Illinois, April 23, 1864.. 

Elvis Bevel, being duly sworn, cleposeth and says : 

I am a citizen of Osceola, Arkansas. I was driven from my home by guerillas.. 
I arrived at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on the niglit of the 11th of April, 1864. I 
was at Fort Pillow during the engagement between the rebel forces under Fon-est 
and Chalmers, and the United States ganison at that place, on the 12th of' 
April instant, 1864. About sun-up, the alarm of rebels being in the fort was; 
received at Major Booth's headquarters. I took a position where 1 could see 
all that was done by the rebel and United States forces. Deponent further- 
saith: I saw the contraband camps in flames at different points. Could see the 
skirmishers of the rebels. Signals were given by Captain Bradford to Captain 
Marshal, of the navy, commanding gunboat No. 7, to shell them from post No. 
1, which is in sight of the fort, which was done by Captain Marshall. About 
one hour after sunrise, brisk skirmishing began. The bullets from rebel infantry 
caused me to move from where I was, and take position behind a large stump 
near the fort. About nine o'clock I moved to the rear of the fort, where I could 
better see the rebels who swarmed the bluif. 

The rebels were here so near the gunboat that the crew under Captain 
Marshall had to close their ports and use their small-arms. At one o'clock p. m 
the firing on both sides ceased. A flag of truce was sent from the rebel lines to 
demand an unconditional surrender. While the flag of truce was approaching- 
the fort, I saw a battery of artillery moved to a better position by the rebels, 
and saw their sharpshooters approaching the fort from another quarter. At two 
o'clock the fight began again; about fifteen or twenty minutes after I saw a 
charge made by about two thousand on the breastworks and near it on the blufi'.. 
Sharp fighting took place inside the fort of about five minutes' duration. I saw 
their bayonets and swords. 1 saw the Union soldiers, black and white, slaugh- 
tered while asking for quarter; heard their screams for quarter, to which the 
rebels paid no attention. About one hundred left the fort and ran down the 
bank of the bluff to the river, pursued by the rebels, who surrounded them; in 
about twenty minutes, every one of them, as far as I could see, were shot down, 
by the rebels without mercy. 

I left at tiiis time, getting on the gunboat. On Thursday, the 14th of April,, 
I met Captain Farris, of Forrest's command, about six miles from Fort Pillow,, 
at Plum point : his soldiers said they were hunting for negroes. I asked him- 
if they took any prisoners at Fort Pillow. He said they took some of the 13th. 
Tennessee, who surrendered, but no others, 

ELVIS BEVEL. 

Signed and sworn to before me this 23d day of April, A. D. 1S64, at Cairo,. 
Illinois. 

C. B. SMITH,- 
Lieut, and A. A. A. G. 
A true copy 

C. B. SMITH, 
Lieut, and A. D. C 



Statement of W?n. B. Walker, company D, 13th Tennessee cavalry. 

I hereby certify that I Avas at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on the 12th day of the 
present month, when it was attacked by the confederates. I saw nothing more 
than has probably been related by a dozen others, until -about the time of the 
panic and the retreat down tlie bluft' by both white and black Union troops, "We 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. Ill 

were followed closely by the rebels, and shot down, after surrender, as fast as 
they could find us. One of the rebels, after I had given him up my money as 
he had ordered me, fired upon me twice, after I had surrendered, and while I 
begged for my life. One ball struck me in the left eye. - The rebels had almost 
ceased firing upon us, when an ofiicer came down and told them to " shoot the 
last d — d one of us," and " not to take one prisoner." He said it was the order 
of the general, (I could not hear the name plainly, but I think it was Chalmers.) 
Then the slaughter of the prisoners was resumed. I saw some six white and 
ten colored soldiers thus shot, long after they had surrendered, and while the 
negroes were on their knees begging to be spared. 

his 
WILLIAM B. X WALKER. 

mark 
Witness : Wm. Cleary, 

2d Lieut. Co. B, 13tk Ten7iessec Cavalry. 

Mound City, Illinois, Ajyril 23, A. D. 1864. 

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 25th day of Aprif, 1864, at Mound 
City, Illinois. 

WM. STANLEY, 
Lieutenant and Assi.stant Provost Marshal. 
A true copy 

C. B. SMITH, 
Lieutenant and A. D. C. 



Statement of Jasem Lo7ian, company B, I'StU Tennessee cavalry. 

I do hereby certify that I was at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on the twelfth (12th). 
of the present month, when it was attacked by the rebels under General A. B. 
Forrest. I was ordered into the fort at the commencement of the engagement. 
We kept up a continual fire on both sides until about 1 o'clock p. m., when a 
flag of truce was sent in, and firing ceased. While the flag of truce was being 
considered I saw the enemy plundering our evacuated quarters, and moving their 
forces up in large bodies, getting them in position. We had been driving them 
all the morning. They ^rerc at the same time placing their sharpshooters in the 
buildings we had ©ccupied as barracks. The object of the flag of truce not 
having been agi-eed to, the firing again commenced. About one hour afterwards 
the enemy charged on our works in overwhelming numbers, and the negi-o sol- 
diers, being panic-stricken, dropped their arms and ran down the bluff'. The 
whites also, when they found there was to be no quarter shown, also ran down, 
the bluft*. The rebels ran after us, shooting all they came to, both black and 
white. I also certify that I was myself shot after I had surrendered, and -while 
I had my hands up and was imploring them to show me mercy. They also shot 
Sergeant Gwalthney, of my company, while he was within ten feet of me, after 
he had given up his revolver, and while he had his hands up crying out for 
mercy. They took his own revolver and shot him with its contents twice 
through the head, killing him instantly. I also certify that I saw the rebels 
shoot, in all, six men who had surrendered, and who had their hand* up asking 
quarter. I further certify that I saw the rebels come about on the ensuing- 
morning, the 13th day of April, A. D. 1864, and despatch several of the colori-d 
soldiers of the 6th United States heavy artillery, who had survived their wounds 
received on the previous day. 

Lis 

JASON + LONAN. 

mark . 

Witness: William Cleary, 

2d Lieut. Co. B, Uth Term. Vul. Cav. 



112 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Mound City, Illinois, April 23, 1864. 

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 23d day of April, 1864, at Mound 
City, Illinois. 

WM. STANLEY, 
Lieutenant and Assistant Provost Marshal. 
A true copy. 

C. B. SMITH, 
Lieutenant and A. D. C. 



Statement of Corporal Win. P. Dickey, company B, 12tk Tennessee cavalry. 

1 do hereby certify that I was at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on tlie 12tli day of 
April, A. D. 1864, when tliat place was attacked by the rebel General Forrest. 
I went into the fort at the commencement of the action. We kept up a con- 
tinuous fire upon both sides until about 1 o'clock p. m., Avhen a flag of truce was 
sent in by the rebels, and while it was being considered the firing was ordered 
to cease. I also certify that while this was going on I plainly saw the enemy 
consolidating their forces and gaining positions they had been endeavoring to 
gain without success. At the same time their men were plundering our deserted 
camp, and stealing goods from the quartermaster's depot, and from the stores of 
the merchants of the post. They also at the same time put their sharpshooters 
into our deserted ban-acks, whence they had fair view, and Avere in fair range of 
our little garrison. The firing recommenced after the flag of truce had retired 
About one hour thereafter the rebels stormed our works. They had no sooner 
obtained the top of our walls when the negroes ran, and the whites, obtaining 
no quarter, ran after them. The rebels followed closely, shooting down all who 
came in the way, white and black. I also certify that I was myself shot by a 
rebel soldier after I had surrendered, and while I had my hands up begging for 
mercy. I also certify that I saw the rebels shoot doAvn ten men, white soldiers, 
within ten paces of me, while they had their hands up supplicating quarter. I 
alteo certify that I saw twelve negro soldiers killed long after they had sur- 
rendered. I also certify that I saw the rebels throw several negroes into the 
river while they were begging for life. One rebel came to me and took my per- 
cussion caps, saying he had been killing negroes so fast that his own had been 
exhausted. He added that he was going to shoot some more. I also certify 
that I saw negroes throAvn intV) the river by rebels, and shot afterwards, while 
.struggling for life. 



his 
WM. P. + DICKEY. 

raark. 



Witness : Wm. Clearv, 

2d Lieut. Co. B, I2th Term. Vol. Car. 



Mound City, April 23, A. D. 1864. 

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 23d day of April, 1864, at Mound 
•City, Illinois. 

WM. STANLEY, 
Lieutenant and Assistant Provost Mars/uil. 
A true copy. 

C. B. SMITH, 
Lieutenant and. A. D. C. 



FOKT PILLOW MASSACKE. 113 

Mound City, April 25, 1864. 

Statement r^ Sergeant Willia?n A. Winn, company B, lolh Tennessee cavalry 

volunteers. 

I was in Fort Pillow on Tuesday, the 12tli of April, 1864, when the attack 
was made by General Forrest upon that place. At the firing of the first gun I 
hastened on board the gunboat, as I had been wounded some time before and 
could not fight. The first thing I saw afterwards was the rebel sharpshooters * 
on the top of the hill and ours at quartermaster's department, firing at each 
other, and the rebels were also firing at the gunboat. The next thing I saw 
was a flag of truce come in, which was in waiting some half an hour. This 
was about one o'clock p. m., and as soon as it started back, the enemy imme- 
diately started up the hill on the double-quick, not waiting for the flag of truce 
to return. As soon as they came close to the fort and had their sharpshooters 
distributed through our barracks, (which were just outside the fort,) they opened 
fire upon the garrison, and then charged the works. Those troops which I saw 
came from the direction that the flag of trace did. I saw our men run down 
th( blufi", the rebels after them, shooting them down as fast as they came up 
with them. I saw twelve or fifteen men shot down after they had surrendered, 
with their hands up begging for mercy. Next I saw them turn their cannon 
OB us (the boat) and throw several shells at the boat, trying to sink her, but 
she steamed up the river, out of range, leaving behind us a scene of cold-blooded 
murder too cruel and barbarous for the human mind to express. 

W. A. WINN. 

•Sworn and subscribed to before me this 25th day of April, 1864. 

WM. STANLEY, 
Lieutena?it and Assistafit Provost Marsltal. 
A. true copy. 

0. B. SMITH, Lieutenant and A. D. C. 



Mound City, April 18, 1864. 
Statement of William F. Mays, company B, loth Tennessee cavalry. 

I was at Fort Pillow on the 12th of April, 1864, and engaged in the fight 
there. The pickets were driven in ^bout six o'clock a. m., when skirmishers 
■were thrown out to ascertain the position and number of the enemy. The con- 
traband camp was then discovered to be on fire, and the firing of small-arms 
was heard in the same direction. The skirmishing lasted about one hour, when 
our skirmishers were gradually drawn back towards the fort on the blulf. They 
then attacked the fort. Two assaults were made by them, and both repulsed. 
This was about eleven or twelve o'clock a. m., when a flag of truce was sent 
in, demanding a surrender. While the flag was being received and the firing 
suspended, the enemy were moving their forces into position, and occupied one 
position which they had been fighting to obtain all day, but had not been able 
to gain, except under the protection of a flag of truce. It was from this posi- 
tion they made their heaviest assault, it being impossible to bring our artillery 
to bear upon them. 

Question. Do you believe they could have taken the fort or that jiarticular 
position had they not done so under cover of the flag of truce 1 

Answer. I do not. They had been kept from it for six liov.rs. 

Question. What further took place ? Go on with your statemi^at. 

Answer. In about five minutes after the disappearance of the flag of truce, a gen- 
eral assault was made upon our works from every direction. They were kept at 
Rep. Com. 63 8 



114 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

• 
bay for some time, when the negroes gave way upon the left and ran down the- 
bluff, leaving an opening through which the rebels entered and immediately 
commenced an indiscriminate slaughter of both Avhite and black. We all threw 
down our arms and gave tokens of surrender, asking for quarter. (I Avas 
wounded in the right shoulder and muscle of the back, and knocked down 
before I threw down my gun.) But no quarter was given. Voices were heard 
upon all sides, crying, " Give them no quarter ; kill them ; kill them ; it is 
^ General Forrest's orders." I saw four white men and at least twenty-five 
negroes shot while begging for mercy ; and I saw one negro dragged from a 
hollow log within ten feet of where I lay, and as one rebel held him by the 
foot another shot him. These Vi^ere all soldiers. There were also two negro 
women and three little children standing within twenty-five steps from me, 
when a rebel stepped up to them and said, " Yes, God damn you, you thought 
you were free, did you," and shot them all. They all fell but one child, when 
he knocked it in the head with the breech of his gun. They then disappeared 
in the direction of the landing, folloAviug up the fugitives, firing at them wherever 
seen. They came back in about three-quarters of an hour, shooting and 
robbing the dead of their money and clothes. I saw a man with a canteen upon 
him and a pistol in his hand. I ventured to ask him for a drink of water. He 
turned around, saying, " Yes, God damn you, I will give you a drink of water," 
and shot at my head three different times, covering my face up with dust, and 
then turned from me, no doubt thinking he had killed me, remarking, " God 
damn you, it's too late to pray now," then went on with his pilfering. I lay 
there until dark, feigning death, when a rebel officer came along, drawing his 
sabre and ordered me to get up, threatening to run his sabre into me if I did 
not, saying I had to march ten miles that night. I succeeded in getting up 
and got among a small squad he had already gathered up, but stole away from 
them during the night, and got among the dead, feigning death for fear of being 
murdered. The next morning the gunboat came up and commenced shelling 
them out, when I crawled out from among the dead, and with a piece of paper 
motioning to the boat, site came up and I crawled on board. 

his 

WM. F. + MAYS. 

■ ' mark. 

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of April, 1S64. 

WM. STANLEY, 
Lieutenant and Assistant Provost Marshal, 
A true copy, 

C. B. SMITH, Lieutenant and A. D. C. 



Official statement of Jacts connected wit/i the attach, defence, and surrender of 
the United States military/ 2yo$t at Union City, Tennessee, on the 2ith of 
March, 1864. 

Cairo, Illinois, April i, 1S64. 

On the 23d of March it was generally understood at the said post that at 
least a portion of the rebel General Forrest's command were advancing on us. 
At about eight o'clock p. m. of that day the advance of the enemy were seen, 
and fired upon, near Jacksonville, six miles from Union City, by a small scout- 
ing party sent in that direction from our post. This party reported the facts 
immediately to Colonel Hawkins, of the 7th Tennessee cavalry, who was com- 
mander of the post. 

The picket guard was then doubled, and two or three companies were ordered 
to keep their horses saddled during the night. 



FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE. 115 

I was notified at 4.30 a. m. of the 24th of March to order ray hor.-es saddled. 
About five o'clock firing commenced all around the line csf pickets. The main 
part of company B, Captain Martin, were abreast, and a part of company I, 
also, I think. The remaining force, about 500 strong, were distributed around 
at the breastworks. The pickets were driven in, with a loss of two killed and 
several wounded. About 5.30 a. m. a cavalry charge was made from the 
south side. It was repulsed with but little difficulty. The same were imme- 
diately dismounted and charged again, this time coming within twenty or thiity 
yards of the breastworks. They were repulsed again, and Avith considerable 
loss this time. Immediately following this another charge was made in front, 
frcMi the northwest, and again repulsed. Immediately following this, the 
fourth charge, and last, was made from the northeast, which charge confront ;!d 
my company, and were repulsed again with loss. This charge was made at 
about 8 a. m. About this time the colonel came to this part of the works ; I 
remarked to him that it was my opinion the rebels were defeated in their first 
programme ; that they would either leav^ the field or assemble and make a 
consolidated charge. Our troops were in fine spirits. Sharpshooting lasted 
till 9.30 a. m., when an escort, with a flag of truce, approached my position. I 
sent notification to Colonel Hawkins of the approaching truce flag, and then 
advanced in person and halted the truce escort two hundred yards from the 
defences. Then' Colonel Hawkins came; a document was handed him, the 
contents of Avhich I know not. At this time the rebel troops were in full view, 
in the logs and stumps. The truce escort retired, and in twenty minutes after 
again came. I again halted them on the same ground as before, and remained 
with them during this interview. This time an order Avas handed to Colonel 
Hawkins, Avliich I read. As near as I can remember, it read as follows : 

" Hbadquakters Coa'federate States Fokces, 

''hi the Field, March 24, 1864. 

" Commanding Officer United States Forces, at Union City, Tennessee : 

"■ Sir : I have your garrison completely surrounded, and demand an uncon- 
ditional surrender of youi" forces. If you comply with the demand, you are 
promised the treatment due to prisoners of Avar, according to usages in civilized 
Avarfare. If you persist in a defence, you must take the consequences. 

" By order of 

" N. B. FORREST, Major General^ 

Then folloAved a council of our officers, in which a large majority violently 
opposed any capitulation whatever with the enemy. NotAvithstanding this, the 
colonel made a surrender at 11a. m., Avhich, to the best of my knoAvledge and 
belief, was unconditional. No artillery Avas seen or used. The surrendered 
troops Avere very indignant on hearing of the surrender. Only one man had been 
killed and tAvo or three wounded inside of the Avorks. It Avas generally believed 
to be a rebel defeat. Our troops, after grounding arms, Avere marched aAvay on 
foot. The rebel troops Avere commanded by fJolonel DuckAvorth, and as 
nearly as I could estimate them, there Avere 800. 

A list of prisoners was made on the 26th, at Trenton, Avhich numbered 48 1, 
including ten of Hardy's men and a feAv of the 24th Missouri infantry, Avho 
were doing proA'Ost duty. 

T. P. GRAY, 
Captain, Company C, 7th Tennessee Cavalry. 



116 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 



* Headquarters Post of Pauucah, 

Paducah, Kentucky, April 6, 1864. 

Sir : I have the honor to report in relation to the late engagement with the 
rebel General Forrest. On the 25th instant nay Bcouts canae in at about 12 
o'clock m., bringing no news of the enemy's whereabouts. I immediately 
order< d out others, and directed them to proceed on the Mayfield road. They 
had gone but three miles when they were met by Forrest's advance guard, who 
fired* upon them. They hurriedly fell back and gave the alarm, and in less 
than ten minutes after they reported, the enemy were driving in my pickets, 
who opened a skirmish-fire and fell back to Fort Anderson, according to pre- 
vious instructions. I immediately ordered the little force under my command 
to double-quick to the fort, which order was promptly obeyed ; yet, before they 
could reach there, such was the impetuosity of the attack, that their rear was 
fired into by the enemy. 

At 2 p. m. the enemy took position surrounding the fort, and a sharp fight 
commenced, which in a few minutes became furious, and continued for about 
one hour, when it was announced that a flag of truce was approaching. I im- 
mediately ordered my men to cease firing, and sent out to meet the bearer, from 
whom I received the following demand for a surrender : 

" Headquarters Forrest's Cavalry Corps, 

" PaducaJi, Kentucky, March 25, 1864, 

"Colonel: Having a force amply sufficient to carry your works and reduce 
the place, and in order to avoid the unnecessary effusion of blood, I demand 
the surrender of the fort and troops, with all public property. If you surrender, 
you shall be treated as prisoners of war ; but if I have to storm your works, 
you may expect no quarter. 

"N. B. FORREST, 
" Major General, Cotmnanding Covfederate Troops. 
"Colonel Hicks, 

" Covimanding Federal Forces at Paducah." 

To which I replied as follows : 

" Headquarters Post of Paducah, 

" Paducah, Kentucky, March 26, 1864. 

" I have this moment received yours of this instant, in which you demand the 
unconditional surrender of the forces under my command. 1 can answer that I 
have been placed here by my government to defend this post, and in this, as 
well as all other orders from my superior, I feel it to be" my duty as an honor- 
able officer to obey. I must, therefore, respectfully decline surrendering as you 
may require. 

" Very respectfully, 

„ S. G. HICKS^ 
''Colonel, Commanding Post. 
" Major General N. B. Forrest, 

* Comynanding Confederate Fo7'ccs." 

While the flag of truce was near the fort, and during its pendency, the 
enemy were engaged in taking position and planting a battery. As soon as 
the answer was returned they moved forward, and our forces opened on them, 
and the fight became general. They attempted to storm our works, but were 
repulsed. They rallied and tried it again, and met the same fate. They made 
a third effort, but were forced to abandon their design. It was in this last 
srtuggle that Brigadier General A. P. Thompson (confederate) was killed. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. ' 117 

I now discovered, on examiuatiou, that my ammunition was growing short, 
and out of 30,000 rounds, (the amount we commenced the tight with,) 27,000 
had been ah-eady expended. In this emergency I ordered the remainder to be 
equally distributed ; the men to fix their bayonets ; to make good use of the 
ammunition they had, and, when that was cxlir.u^ted, to receive the enemy on 
the point of the bayonet, feeling fully determined never to surrender while I 
had a man alive. When this order was repeated by the officers to their 
respective commands, it was received with loud shouts and cheers. 

The enemy's sharpshooters in the mean time got possession of the houses 
around and near the fort, from Avhich position they picked off some of my gun- 
ners, shooting nearly all of them in the head. 

Towards dark the enemy took shelter behind houses, in rooms, and kollows, 
and kept np a scattering fire until half past 11 o'clock, when it entirely ceased, 
and the rebel general withdrew his command out of the range of my guns, and 
went into camp for the night. 

On the morning of the 26tli the enemy again made a demonstration by sur- 
rounding the fort in the distance. As €oon as I discovered this, I ordered 
Major Barnes, of the 10th Kentvicky cavalry, to send out squads to burn all 
the houses within musket range of the fort, from which the sharpshooters had 
annoyed ns the day previous. 

While the houses were burning General Forrest sent in a second flag of 
truce, with the following communication : 

"Headquarters Forrest's Cavalry Corps, 

" Near PaducaJi, Kentiocky, March 2^, 1864. 

" Sir : I understand you hold in your possession in the guard-house at Paducah 
a number of confederate soldiers as prisoners of war. I have in my possession 
about thirty-five or forty federal soldiers who were captured here yesterday, 
and about five hundred who were captured at Union City. I propose to 
exchange man for man, according to rank, so far as you may hold confederate 
soldiers. 

"Respectfully, N. B. FORREST, 

" Major General, Commanding Confi derate Forces. 
" Colonel S. G. Hicks, 

" Commanding Federal Forces at Paducah, Kf/." 

In answer to which I sent the following : 

"Headquarters Post of Paducah, 
"■Paducah, Kentucky, March 26, 1864. 
" Sir : I have no power to make the exchange. If I had, I would most cheer- 
fully do it. 

" Very respectfully, S. G. HICKS, 

" Colonel 4:0th Illinois Infantry, Com'dg Post. 
" Major General N. B. Forrest, 

" Co7nmanding Confederate Forces.''^ 

With the above General Forrest sent a list of the names of the prisoners 
captured, (!) all of whom, with one exception, were convalescents in the general 
hospital, and too feeble to get to the fort. 

The following troops composed my command during the fight : 
Companies C, H, andK, 122d Illinois infantry, commandedby Major J. F. Chap- 
man, one hundred and twenty men; 16th Kentucky cavalry, Major Barnes com- 
manding, two himdred and seventy-one men ; 1st Kentucky heavy artillery, 
(colored,) two hundred and seventy-four men, commanded by Lieutenant R. D. 
Cunningham, of the 2d Illinois artillery, making a total of six himdred and 
sixty-five men. 



118 FOET PILLOW MASSACRE 

Opposed to ttis was the rebel force under tlie commaud of Generals Forrest, 
Buf'ird, J. G. Harris, and A. P. Thompson, of six thousand five hundred men. 

The casualties of mj command \v;^re fourteen killed and forty-six v/ounded. 

The enemy's loss, according to the most reliable information that I can ob- 
tain, was three hundred killed and* from one thout^and to twelve hundred 
wounded. His killed and wounded may be safely set down at fifteen hun- 
dred. 

General Forrest admitted, in conversation with some of his friends in this 
city, that in no engagement during the war had he been so badly cut up and 
crippled as at this place. 

Our loss in government stores was inconsiderable. The quartermaster's de- 
pot, a temporary wooden building, was burned, and in consequence thereof a 
small lot of quartermaster's property was lost. Our commissary stores, and 
most of our government horses, mules, wagons, Src, were saved. 

Tn justice to the officers and soldiers under my commaud, allow me to say 
they acted well their part, proving themselves worthy of the great cause in 
which they are engaged, and all deserving of the highest praise. 

The three companies of the 122d Illinois were the only portion of my com- 
mand that had ever been under fire before. 

And here permit me to remark that 1 have been one of those men who never 
had much confidence in colored troops fighting, but those doubts are now all 
removed, for they fought as bravely as any troops in the fort. 

The gunboats Peosta, Captain Smith, and Paw Paw, Captain O'Neal, were 
present and I'endered valuabli; aid in shelling the city and operating on the flank 
of the enemy as they surrounded th^- fort. 

A list of the names of the killed and wounded I will furnish hereafter. 

ResDCctfully submitted. 

S. G. HICKS, 
Culoncl iOt/i Illinois Infantry. Commandivg Post. 

Captain J. H. Odli\, 

Assistant Adjutant General. 



Headquarters Confederate States, 

Before Coluvibus, Kentucky, April 13, 1864. 

Fully capable of taking Columbus and its garrison by force, I desire to avoid 
the shedding of blood, and therefore demand th(; unconditional surrender of the 
forces under your command. Should you surrender, the negroes now in arms 
will be returned to their masters. Should I, however, be compelled to take the 
place, no quarter will be shown to the negro troops whatever ; the white troops 
will be treated as prisoners of war. 
I am, sir, yours, 

A. BUFORD, Brigadier General. 
The Commanding Officer 

United States Fdras, Columhus, Kentucky. 



Headquarters <>f the Post, 

Columhus, Kentucky, Ap?'il 13, 1864. 
General: Your communication of this date to hand. In reply, I would 
state that, being placed by my government with adequate force to hold and 
repel all enemies from my post, surrender is out of the question. 
I am, general, very respectfully, 

WILLIAM HUDSON LAWRENCE, 
Ciiloriel oitJi Nric Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Post. 
Brigadier General A. Bcford 

Comfnanding Corfedcralr J-'u/vcs hifore Columhus, Ky. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. , 119 

The following affidavit was furnished, at the request of the committee, by 
General W. S. Rosecrans, from St. Louis: 

"Headquauters Department of the Missouri, 

''Saint Louis, April 26, 1864. 
" Respectfully forwarded to Hou. B. F. Wade, Cairo, lUiuois, chairman 

■congressional Committee on Conduct of the War. 

"W. S. ROSECRANS, 

''Major General, Commanding. 
"By 0. D. GREEN, A. A. G., 

" Absence of Gencraiy 

Statement of Edward B. Benton, upon oath, relative to the massacre by the con- 
federate troops tinder General Forrest, at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. 

I was born in Waltham, Vermont. 

Question. Where have you resided last 1 

Answer. I was in Missouri engaged in furnishing beef to the government 
troops on the North Missouri railroad until a year ago last July. 1 then, went 
down to Fort Pillow, and have been there ever since. 

Question. What was your business there ? 

Answer. I owned 215 acres of the fort, bordering on the river, and the very 
land we fought on. I was putting in 100 acres of cotton just outside the forti- 
fications, which w^as my principal business. 

Question. You lived outside the fort ? 

Answer. Yes, sir — slept there. 1 was in the fort every day ; it vras only 
about a mile from the landing — not a mile fromnthe fortilications. 

Question. Just say when you saw Forrest's men ; the day and the time of 
day, and what you did. 

Answer. On Tuesday morning, the 12th of this month, I was awakened 
about five o'clock, or half past five, by a little darkey boy, who came up to my 
room and says: "Oh, Mr. Benton, all of Forrest's men have come, and they 
are just going into the fort. What will I do?" I got out of bed and looked 
out of the window towards the fort, and saw about three or four hundred of 
Forrest's men drawn iip in line, and some one was making a speech to them, 
which was answered by cheering. They cheered, and then the pickets fired. 
I put some things in my valise and started for the fort in a roundabout way, 
and got in, by running the pickets, about six o'clock, and went immediately to 
Major Booth and asked for a gun, and took my stand with the soldiers inside 
the breastworks, where I remained and shot at every person of Forrest's men 
that I could get a chance at, firing forty-eight shots in all, until the flag of 
truce was sent in. 

Question. About what v/as the time of day it came in ? 

Answer. It came in about two o'clock, I should think — half pa.; t one or tv.'^o 
•o'clock in the afternoon. 

Question. Had they made any attack then ? 

Answer. Oh, yes, sir. 

Question. Had they tried to carry the fort by storm and been repulsed ? 

Answer. At one time the confederate troops had all disappeared. 

Question. Were four hundred all there were there 1 

Answer. Those were all I saw there. This was when ihey first made their 
^ppeai-ance Avhen I first saw these four hundred. After getring into the fort we 
saw more than a thousand coming in at the different pas; cs, and the sharp- 
shooters were stationed on every hill on every side of us except the river side. 



120 , FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Question. Do you recollect how many attacks they made to carry the fort 
bpfore the flag of truce came 1 

Answer. It is not proper to call their fighting but one attack upon the fort, 
although they all, or nearly all, seemed to be driven outside the outside works 
at one time, and soon came back fighting harder and in greater force than before. 

Question. Did they use artillery ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. They did not hurt us with that; they shot at the gunboats. 

Question. When the flag of truce came in did they make any disposition of 
their troops around the fort there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; after the flag of truce was sent in and the firing ceased 
they came up on all sides to within ten yards of the very embankments that 
screened us. 

Question. While the flag of trace was waiting? 

Answer. Yes, sir; more especially on the northern side, just under the bank 
looking towards Coal Creek. 

Question. How long was that flag inside of our lines ? 

Answer. One hour was the time. I suppose it was all of an hour. 

Question. Do you know the nature of it 1 

Answer. It was for an unconditional surrender. 

Question. It was refused by Major Booth? 

Answer. By Major Bradfird, yes, sir. Major Booth had been killed. He 
asked for time to consult with the gunboat, and finally returned the answer that 
there was none of Hawkins's men there, and he never would surrender. 

Question. Did not Major Bradford make any protest against troops coming 
up under the flag in that way ? 

Answer. I don't know, sir. 

Question. When the flag went back did they commence firing again ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Kept it up for how long ? 

Answer. They commenced firing again, but the firing didn't last fifteen 
minutes. Up to this time there had not been twenty killed on our side. 
. Question. What was the strength of the garrison ? 

Answer. 580,1 think, just. 

Question. How many of these were negroes ? 

Answer. About 3S0 — nearly 400 — I don't kno.w exactly to a man. 

Question. How many citizens besides yourself? 

Answer. William W. Cutler, of Chicago, and a young man by the name of 
Robinson; he was a Boldier but in citizen's clothes, and got off on that plea. 

Question. The second flag that came in — about how long was it after the first? 

Answer. Well, there was no second flag of truce, except the one. There 
was no firing in the interim. 

Question. Was there no firing while the first was in? 

Answer. No, sir, not a single shot fired on either side. After the flag of 
truce had been rejected, or the surrender had been rejected, they were so close 
to the fort that about 3,000 of them just sprang right in, and the whole garrison 
threw down their arms at once. The bigger portion of the darkeys jumped 
down the bank towards the Mississippi river, withovtt any arms at all, and were 
follov/ed by Fon-est's men and shot indiscriminately, black and white, with, 
handkerchiefs held over them in a great number of instances — as many as fifty 
I should think. 

Question. Did you see any of those prisoners formed in line and shot down ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How many ? 

Answer. They Avere collected at least four different times. ^* . 

QuestioH. How long a line ? 

Answer. Well, it was more in a collection than it was properly in a straight 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 121 

line. There was a line probably as long as this room, or longer — about thirty 
or thirty-five feet. 

Question. These lines were scattered by rebel shots several times 1 

Answer. They were. 

Question. These men were unarmed? 

Answer. Unarmed ; no arms of any description, and they holding up both 
hands begging for quarter. 

Question. Were you put in the line ? 

Answef. No, sir; I was not. It was attempted to put me in line, but I clung 
to a man who tried to shoot me, but I caught his gun and prevented him, and he 
took my money from me, some seventy dollars, and ordered me into line, raising, 
his gun to strike me ; and as I came to the line the captain made a feint to strike 
me with his sword, and told me to give him my pocket book, which I did, and 
as he turned to look after others, I sprang away and clung close to this man that 
had just taken my money. I said to him that he had taken all my money, and 
he must keep me from being shot like a dog, as I was a citizen, and had nothing 
to do with the fight. He abused me in every way by bad language, saying that 
we had fought them like devils, and tried to kill all of Forrest's men, until we 
came to the back of the stores, where he gave me a soldier's coat and told me 
to wait a moment until he could step in and steal his share. As soon as I was 
left I took some clothing, a saddle blanket, and halter that were there and 
started oat of the fort as one of Forrest's men, but pn the way I saw three 
pei-sons shot — mulattoes and blacks — shot down singly in cold blood. I suc- 
ceeded in getting over the fortifications and hid under fallen timber, where I 
remained until da§lc. After dark I attempted to go towards Hatchie River 
bottom, but the fallen timber being so bad I got lost, and wandered near the 
Pass No. 2, leading out of the fort, inside of it, where I pould see all, where I 
laid until the next day about two o'clock. I heard fifty-one or fifty-two shots 
fired singly at different times within the fort during that time, and screams and 
cheers. About two o'clock the dogs were getting so close to me that I knew 
they were on my track. 

Question. What do you mean by the dogs ? 

Answer. Hunting out people everywhere. They have dogs. 

Question. They had bloodhounds ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I left the most of my clothing and hastened down a ravme 
in the timber, and kept on through the ravines till I came to the Coal Creek 
bottom, some mile and a half, and swam across. Finally, I succeeded in gettmg 
to the island. I had to swim across the river and a bayou. That is all that I 
saw. Oh ! I was there at the fort two days after the battle and saw the remams 
of burned persons; helped to bury one of the dead that T saw shot m cold 
blood lying right where he was left, and saw many of them, white and black, all 
buried together, and a number, three days afterwards, not buried. 

Question. How many did you see shot in this way 1 

Answer. I should think probably about two hundred. « 

Question. It was an indiscriminate butchery, was if? _ 

Answer. Yes, sir. There were about fifteen or twenty that lay close m one 
pile, huddling together, shot after they were wounded. 

Question. Some white soldiers shot after they were wounded ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, with the hospital flag flying, and they holding white hand- 
kerchiefs over theii' heads. I saw at least ten soldiers shot individually with, 
white handkerchiefs over their heads.. They tore off pieces of their shirts — 
anything they could get— for flags of truce and to denote surrender. 

Question. You say these men were shot down in hospital, with hospital flag 
flying ? 

Answer. Yes. sir, lying right down under it— not up walking at all. Every 
man lying near me was kfiled— lying close to me and on me. Two lay over 



122 FORT. PILLOW MASSACRE. 

me, because they kept piling themselves right up on top close under the hank. 
It was just down under the brow of the hill. A great many were lying in the 
Avater and were shot. Trees that were lying one end in the water and the other 
on shore, they would just go over on the other side of them and hide in the 
water, and the rebels would go over and shoot them. 

Question. Your citizen's clothes saved you ] 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I told them I had nothing to do with them. They robbed 
every citizen, taking off most of their clothing. 

Question. How much did they take I'rom you ? • 

Answer. Seventy dollars. 

Question. You say you were robbed twice. 

Answer. Yes, once by the captain of the company and once by the private. 
I carry my money in my vest pocket always, and had my pocket-book in my 
pocket with notes in it. 

Question. That was what you gave to the captain, wasn't it? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. And the seventy dollars in money to the soldier? 

Answer. Yes, sir. He asked, " Give me your money," and the other for the 
pocket-book. 

Question. You say they liad bloodhounds ; did you see any of them? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and not only I but others saw them. One other, Mr. 
-Jones, was treed by them, and staid there a long time. 

Question. What Jones was that? 

Answer. I don't know his given name. He lives on Island 34. I can find 
out his name. He is not any too good a Union man, but iairather southern in 
his feelings. 

Question. State about Bradford's death — when he was shot. What was done ? 
Was he wounded before the surrender ? 

Answer. No, sir; but it was reported by very reliable persons that Bradford 
was shot and hung near Covington, in Hatchie River bottom. 

Question. Who told you this ? * 

Answer. Thie same Jones ; and there were some darkeys came in to the 
gunboat and said that. Darkey evidence is very correct there. You might 
not think it worth while to take their evidence, but it is a great deal more to be 
relied upon than the southern evidence there. I might state that I was inquired 
after by a large number of officers, and it was said they would hang me on a 
flag-pole. 

Question. What for? 

Answer. From the fact that I employed goverumcnt darkeys from Colonel 
Phillips, at Memphis. 

Question. On your plantation ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. And they shot all my horses unfit for cavalry. 

Question. Did they shoot your darkeys? 

Answer. I und(#staud they did, and burned them all. I understand they 
took one yellow woman, and two or three boys c-caped that I tried to take to 
the fort with me in the morning to help fight. The balance, a darkey whose 
name I don't know, said they were killed and burned in the house. 

Question. You did not go back there, then ? 

Answer. I did not go back there. That is only what is told me. It was 
told me by persons who were hid right near, and I saw persons bury the bodies 
after they were burned. 

Question. Where ? 

Answer. In the fort, sir — burr;cd in the liousc. 

Question. In connexion with the fort buildings ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, and out on timber. There was a large number of them 
■burned in the buildings, but tlwy had been Imried the day before. 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. . 123 

Question. You say tlicrc were 580 men, you think, in the fort 1 
' Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How many do you suppose escaped ? 

Answer. Well, I know there were not more than 100 as they marched out 
there surrounded by the other troops, and I would not think there were fifty of 
them. There were five darkeys in Cairo hospitals who were buried alive. Two 
of them have died since they got there. 

Question. Di^ you see any of these men buried alive? 

Answer. No, I did not ; but they are facts that can easily be proved by the 
darkeys — the darkeys themselves — and those who saw it done, and saw the 
quartermaster burned, too. 

EDWARD B. BENTON. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 22d April, 1864. 

ISAAC J. DODGE, 
Lieut ena7itcmd Assi.t. Paymaster General, Department of Missouri. 



In consequence of some portions of the evidence of General Brayman and 
■Colonel Lawrence, which, unexplained, might impeach the good conduct of 
■General Shepley, Mr. Gooch, of the sub-committee, telegraphed to General 
Shepley, giving him the substance of the testimony relating to himself, and 
askhig him to forward to the committee any explanation he might deem neces- 
sary in writing. T^he following communication was received from General 
Shepley, and the testimony of Captain Thornton, an officer of his staff, was 
taken. The sub-committee deemed the explanation therein contained to be en- 
tirely satisfactory, and directed that the following communication and testimony 
be incorporated with the testimony in relation to Fort PilloAv. 

Hbadquauters DisTKic'i' OF Norfolk and Portsmouth, 

Norfolk, Virginia, May 7, 1864. 
Sir : I have the honor respectfully to forward by Captain C. C. G. Thornton, 
12th Maine volunteers, now acting on my staff, a statement in reply to the com- 
jnunication I had the honor to receive by telegraph. 

Captain Thornton was on the Olive Branch, and i.s subject to examination by 
the committee. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, you- obedient servant, 

G. F. SHEPLEY, 
Brigadier General, Commandivg. 
Hon. D. W. Gooch, 

OJ" Committee on Conduct of the War. 

HEADQUARTERS NoRFOLK AND PORTSMOUTH, 

Norfolk, Virginia, May 7, 1864. 

Sir : At my own request having been relieved from duty as military governor 
of Louisiana, and ordered to report for duty to the commanding general of the 
army, I left New Orleans, on the evening of the 6th of April, as a passenger 
in the Olive Branch, a New Orleans and St. Louis passenger steamer not in the 
service of the gov eminent , but loaded with male and female passengers and cargo 
of private parties. The steamer was unarmed, and had no troops and no 
muskets for protection against guerillas when landing at wood yards and other 
places. 

The boat stopped at Vicksburg, and I went ashore. When I returned to the 
boat as she was about leaving, I found that a detachment of a portion of the 
men of two batteries — ;one Ohio and one Missouri — belonging to the 17th army 



124 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

corps, with the horses, guns, "caissons, wagons, tents, and baggage of the two 
batteries, had been put on board, with orders, as I afterwards learned on inquir- 
ing, to report to General Brayman, at Cairo. 

The horses occupied all the available space, fore and aft, on the sides of 
the boilers and machinery, which were on deck. The guns, caissons, baggage 
wagons, tents, garrison and camp equipage, were piled up together on the bows, 
leaving only space for the gang plank. 

The men had no small arms, so that when the boat lauded, <is happened in 
one instance at a wood yard where guerillas had just passed, the pickets thrown 
out to prevent surprise v/ere necessarily unarmed. 

As the boat was approaching, and before it was in sight of Fort Pillow, some 
females hailed it from the shore, and said the rebels had attacked Fort Pillow, 
and captured two boats on the river, and would take -us if we went on. 

The captain of the Olive Branch said they had probably taken the Mollie 
Able, which was due there about that time from St. Louis. 
He turned his boat, saying he would go back to Memphis. 
I objected to going back; stopped the boat below the next point; hailed 
another smaller steamer without passengers which I saw approaching, and or- 
dered it alongside. I ordered the captain of this boat to cast off the coal barges 
he had in tow, and take me on board with a section of a battery to go to Fort 
Pillow. 

While he was trying to disencumber his boat of the coal barges, another boat^ 
better for the purpose, (the Cheek,) hove in sight. Finding I could get her 
ready quicker than the other, I had her brought alongside, and went aboard 
myself with Captain Thornton, of my staff, and Captain Williams, the ranking; 
officer of the batteries. 

Before we could get the guns on board, a steamer with troops hove in sight 
coming down the river from Fort Pillow. 

We could not distinguish at first whether they were Union or rebel soldiers, 
I asked Captain Pegram, of the Olive Branch, if the story of the women 
turned out to be true, and the rebels had the steamer, could his boat sink her. 
Captain Pegram replied, " Yes, my boat can run right over her." I ordered 
him to swing out into the stream to be ready for her. When she approached 
we saw United States infantry soldiers on hoard that had just passed the fort. 
She kept on going rapidly down with the current, only hailing the Olive Branch : 
'^^ All right up there ; you can go hy. The gunboat is lying off the fort.'" 

This steamer was the Liberty. We then proceeded up the river in the Olive 
Branch. Near Fort Pillow some stragglers or guerillas fired from the shore 
with musketry, aiming at the pilot-house. 

I was then in the pilot-house, and, as we kept on, I observed that one of the 
two other boats I have mentioned, which followed us at some distance, was 
compelled to put back. The Olive Branch kept on to report to the gunboat on 
the station. 

An officer came off from the gunboat, in a small boat, and said he did not 
want any boat to stop ; ordered us to go on to Cairo, and tell captain (name not 
recollected) to send him immediately four hundred (400) rounds of ammunition. 
There was no firing at the fort at this time. 

The Union flag was flying, and after we had passed the. fort "Vfc could see a 
"flag of truce" outside the fortifications. 

No signal of any kind teas made to the hoat from the f»rt, or from tlie 
shore 

No intiijiation was given us from the gunboat, which had the right to order 
a steamer of this description, other than the order to proceed to Cairo, to send 
down the ammunition. ■> 

From the foct that the Liberty had just passed down the river from the fort, 
with 'troops on board; from her hailing us to go by, and continuing her course 



FORT PILLOWMASSACRE. 125 

clown tlie river without stopping ; that no signal was made the Olive Branch 
from the fort on the shore, and no attack was being made on the fort at the time; 
that the ofEcer of the gunboat said he did not want any boats to stop, and 
ordered the captain of the Olive Branch to go on, and have ammunition sent 
tlown to him by first boat, 1 considered, and noAV consider, that the captain of 
the Olive Branch was not only justified in going on, but bound to proceed. 

The Olive" Branch was incapable of rendering any assistance, being entirely 
defenceless. If any guns could have been placed in position on the boat, they 
could not have been elevated to reach sharpshooters on the high steep blufi out- 
side thf fort. 

A very few sharpshooters from the shore near the fort could have prevented 
any landing, and have taken the boat. We supposed the object of the rebels 
was rather to seize a boat, to effect a crossing into Arkansas, than to capture the 
fort. We had no means of knowing or suspecting that so strong a position as 
Fort Pillow had not been properly garrisoned for defence, when it was in con- 
stant communication with General Hurlbut at Memphis. 

The Olive Branch had just left Memphis, Greneral Hurlbut's headquarters, 
where it had been during the previous night. If it had not been for the appear- 
ance of the Liberty, I should have attempted a landing at Fort Pillow in the 
small steamer. If any intimation had been given from the gunboat, or the shore, 
I should have landed personally from the Olive Branch. The order given to the 
contrary prevented it. 

Coming from New Orleans, and having no knowledge of affairs in that mili- 
tary district, I could not presume that a fort, with uninterrujpted water com- 
munication above and below, could possibly be without a garrison strong enough 
to hold it for a few hours. 

I write hastily, and omit, from want of time, to state subsequent occurrences 
at Fort Columbus and Cairo, except to say that, at Fort Columbus, in front of 
which Buford then was demanding a surrender, I stopped, started to ride out 
to the lines, met Colonel Lawrence, the commanding officer, coming in from the 
front to his headq;iarters. Offered to remain, with the men on board. 

Colonel Lawrence said he was in good condition to stand any attack; could 
communicate with General Brayman; had already taken four hundred (400) 
infantry and one battery from the L. M. Kennett, which had just preceded us, 
and left six hundred (600) men, and another, or other batteries, on board, which 
he did not need. He declined the proffered assistance, as not needed, and imme- 
diately on arrival at Cairo I reported all the information in my possession to 
General Brayman, in command, who was about leaving for Columbus. 

Captain Thornton, 12th Maine volunteers, a gallant officer, distinguished for 
his bravery at Ponchitoula, where he was wounded and left in the hands of the 
enemy, was on board the Olive Branch, and will take this communication to the 
committee. 

I respectfully ask that he may be thoroughly examined as to all the circum- 
stances. 

I am conscious that a full examination will show that I rather exceeded than 
neglected my duty. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant, 

G. F. SHEPLEY, 
Brigadier General, Commanding. 

Hon. D. W. GoocH, 

Of Committee on Conduct of the War 



126 FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 

Washington, D. C., Mai/ 9, 1864- 
Captain Charles C. G. Thornton, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. What is your rank and position in the army 1 

Answer. I am a captain, and aid on General George F. Shcpley's staff. 

Question. Were you with General Shepley when he passed Fort Pillow, about, 
the time of the capture of that place? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Will you state what occurred there, and the reason, if any, why 
you did not stop there to aid the garrison 1 

Answer. We were passengers on the boat Olive Branch, which left New Of- 
leans on the 6th of April, without troops. On arriving at Vicksburg, parts of 
two batteries — a Missouri and an Ohio battery — were put on board. I do not 
know the exact number of men, but I should think that perhaps there were 120 
men with the two batteries. The men had no small-arms whatever — no arms 
but the guns of their batteries. We stopped at a place to take in wood, where 
we were told the guerillas had just passed, and we threw out pickets to keep 
from being surprised. We were unable to arm those men with anything what- 
ever, and merely stationed them so that we should not be surprised, but have 
an opportunity of getting on board the boat and leave. Upon arriving within 
three miles — perhaps two and a half miles — of Fort Pillow, some women on 
shore hailed us and told us that Fort Pillow was captured with two transports 
or steamers, and motioned to us to retimr. The captain of the boat turned 
about for the purpose of returning to Jlemphis, but General Shepley stopped it. 
Colonel Sears, the owner of the boat, who was on board, came to rae and asked 
me to go to General Shepley and tell him the importance of our going back to 
Memphis ; that it was dangerous for us to proceed with so many passengers. 
The boat was a. very large one, loaded with passengers, every state-room being- 
occupied by men, women, and children. 

Question. Hov/ many passengers, non-combatants, do you suppose you had 
on board 1 

Answer. Perhaps one hundred and fifty, but that is a mere guess. When 
Colonel Sears urged me to ask General Shepley to go back to Memphis, I told 
him I should do nothing of the kind ; that if he wished General Shepley to 
allow the boat to go back, he might see him about it himself. He did so, but 
General Shepley positively refused to go. He ordered the captain of the Olive- 
Branch to hail a boat which came in sight, and direct her to come alongside. 
General Shepley then said, " I will have a section of the battery put on this 
boat, and will go up and reconnoitre." The boat was called the " Hope," I 
think. There is a point just below where the rebels, if they had a battery, 
might bring it to bear on us. General Shepley consented to have the Hope 
go below that point with the boat we were on, in order to have this section of a 
battery put on board of her. On our way down we met another boat, the 
" Cheek," which would answer our purpose better, and she was stopped. Gen- 
eral Shepley ordered a section of a battery put on board of her, and directed 
Captain Williams, commanding the battery, and myself, to accompany him up 
to Fort Pillow to reconnoitre. I suggested to General Shepley, or was on the 
point of suggesting to him, that perhaps he had better not go himself, but send 
Captain Williams and myself The instant I suggested that, he said " No, I 
will go myself, and personally ascertain the condition of affairs." He asked 
the captain how many minutes it would take him to get his guns on board. 
He said he could probably get a couple of guns on in a few minutes. 

Just then a steamer, which afterwards proved to be the steamer "Liberty," 
hove in sight. We supposed at first that she was the Mollie Able, which the cap 



FORT PILLOW MASSACRE. 127' 

tain of our boat said was due at Fort Pillow just about that time, and tbat slie 
was one of the boats the rebels had captured, if the story of the women was 
true. When we saw her coming we noticed that she was loaded with troops, 
whether Union or rebel troops we could not tell. The general said to our 
captain, " Can you run that boat down ?" He said, " If it is the Mollie Able, I 
can run right over her." When she hove in sight we saw at once that there 
was no time to put a battery on board the Cheek; General Shepley then 
ordered the Cheek to move out of the way, and the captain of our boat to swing 
out, with the intention of running this other boat down if she should prove to 
be loaded with rebel soldiers. When the boat got nearer, however, we found 
she had Union troops on board. As she passed us our captain hailed her, and 
she replied " All right up there; you can go by. There is a gunboat there.'* 
We Avere then satisfied that everything was all right, as she had been allowed 
to come down by them with so large a body of troops on board.. 

We went up, and when within perhaps a mile of the place some rebel soldiers 
fired upon our boat, probably aiming at the pilot-house. I stood on the after 
part of the deck at the time. The general -was in the pilot-house looking out. 
The shots did not take effect or amount to anything. We went on up, and 
found no firing at the fort. We stopped at the gunboat, as all boats are required 
to do which pass. An ofiicer came on board from the gunboat and said to the 
captain of our boat, " I want you to proceed immediately to Cairo, and send 
down 400 or 500 rounds of ammunition ; and order all boats back that may be 
coming down ; we want no boats here." We talked the matter over, and came 
to the conclusion that the object of this Fort Pillow affair was not to capture 
the fort, but to capture more of our boats, if possible, in order to get across the 
river. That was merely our supposition,* as we knew nothing about the battle. 
There was no firing at the fort at that time, and our boat went on up the river 
in obedience to the orders of the gunboat, as it had a right to give that order. 

We had proceeded but a little way before w*e discovered a flag of truce at 
the fort, as it was reported to me ; I did liot see it myself, but it undoubtedly was 
there. We passed on a short distance further, and then noticed that our flag at 
the fort was down ; we had seen it flying as we passed the fort. I went to the 
stern of our boat, and with a glass looked carefully at the fort. After a time I 
discovered that the gunboat had steamed up a little ways, as I supposed for the 
purpose of firing upon the right flank of the rebels. We could see a line of 
fire or smoke in the woods, which we supposed to be from the musketry of the 
rebpls. We then saw a flag raised up on a pole at the fort, I should think ten 
or twelve feet high. I supposed that our flag had been shot away, and they 
were raising it again. The guns from the fort at that time were pretty heavy, 
while the fire of the enemy appeared to be from musketry. I have no doubt 
now that that was the rebel flag that was raised after the fort was taken. 

We proceeded on up to Columbus. Before we arrived there we noticed that 
there was heavy firing there. On our arrival there we saw a great many troops, 
and they remarked from the shore that there was hot work there. General 
Shepley told me to accompany him, and went up to Colonel Lawrence's head- 
quarters, but was told he was at the front. General Shepley ordered two horses 
to be prepared for us to go to the front, to see Colonel Lawrence. Just as the 
horses were ready, and we were about starting. Colonel Lawrence came over 
and rode down to his headquarters. He told us that it was all right ; th^t 
there had been some skirmishing ; that Buford had come there and demanded a 
surrender of the fort, but he had refused to surrender. General Shepley told 
him that he had portions of two batteries on hand, and asked him if he wanted 
them ; told him how they came there, and that they were ordered to Cairo as a 
portion of the 17th corps. Colonel Lawrence said that he had taken 400 troops 
from the Luther M. Kennett, and, I think, one battery. The Luther M. Kcnnet 



128 FOKT PILLOW MASSACRE 

had just preceded us as we passed by Fort Pillow. ColoDel Lawrence said 
that he did not need the batteries of General Shepley. General Shepley in- 
quired particularly about the condition of affairs, and told Colonel Lawrence 
Avhat had occurred at Fort Pillow. After ascertaining that there was nothing 
to be done by us down there we proceeded to Cairo. On our arrival there 
General Shepley called upon General Brayraan and told him the substance of 
what occurred ; the condition of things- as we left, the flag coming down, and 
the fear that the fort had surrendered. We did not know then that the fort had 
surrendered, though we know now it had. 

The caissons and artillery had been hoisted on our boat by means of what 
they call a derrick, I think, and were piled up, closely packed all round. It 
would, therefore, have been impossible for us to have removed those cannon for 
several hours. It took us several hours to land them at Cairo ; and it would 
have been an utter impossibility for us to have taken those cannon up to Fort 
Pillow, as we had no infantry to cover our landing ; and half a dozen sharp- 
shooters could have undoubtedly captured our boat had we attempted it. 

Question. If I understand you, General Shepley had no opportunity to 
relieve Fort Pillow any way ? 

Answer. He went on board the boat a mere passenger, with no arms. We 
did not know any troops were coming on board. Those two portions of bat- 
teries, with their guns, were ordered to report at Cairo. The gunboat was 
lying right by the side of us, and its fire was of no account, and, of course, ours 
would not have been. • 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Would it have been possible for you to have used your batteries 
from the boat with any effect upon the rebels 1 

Answer. No, sir ; it would have been an utter impossibility to have done so. 
If we had gone in and stopped five minutes there, the rebels could have captured 
us without the least trouble in the world. The question may be asked why we 
offered assistance at Columbua and not at Fort Pillow. The fort at Columbus 
is clear in back from the river, and there were infantry troops there to protect 
our landing. But Colonel Lawrence said he did not expect the fight to occur 
for some time, even if there was any fight at all, which he did not expect. 

Question. At Columbus you could have landed your batteries under the pro- 
tection of our forces there 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. • 

Question. And you could not have done that at Fort Pillow ? 

Answer. No, sir ; for at Fort Pillow we should have been right under the 
fort, and could have been easily reached. This was all stated to General Bray- 
man, and I was quite surprised when I heard of the testimony in regard to the 
matter. 



© 



.3STII CoNGUi:;.,;j, { liOUtiE OF ilEPRESENTATIVES. ( Heport 

t No. G7. 



1st Session. | 



RETURNED PRISONERS. 



May 9, 1864. — Laid on the table and ordered to bo printed. 



llr. GoocH, from the Joint Select Committee ou tlie Conduct of tlic War, 

made the following 

EEPOIIT. 

The Joint Co7nmittec on the Conduct and Expenditures of the War submitted 
the following report, loith the accompanying testimony. 

On tlic 4th instant your committee received a communication of that date 
from the Secretary of War, enclosing the report of Colonel Iloflfman, commissary 
general of prisoners, dated May 3, calling the attention of the committee to the 
condition of returned Union prisoners, with the request that the committee would 
immediately proceed to Annapolis and examine with their own eyes the con- 
dition of those who have been returned from rebel captivity. The committee 
resolved that they would comply with the request of the Secretary of War ou 
the first opportunity. The 5th of May was devoted by the committee to con- 
cluding their labors upon the investigation of the Fort Pillow massacre. On 
the 6th of May, however, the committee proceeded to Annapolis and Baltimore, 
and examined the condition of our returned soldiers, and took the testimony of 
■several of them, together with the testimony of surgeons and other pen3ons in 
attendance upon the liospitals. That testimony, with the communication of the 
Secretary of War, and the report of Colonel Hoffman, is herewith transmitted. 

The evidence proves, beyond all m:inner of doubt, a determination on the 
part of the rebel authorities, deliberately and persistently practiced fjr a long 
time past, to subject those of our soldiers who have been so unfortunate as to 
fall in their habds to a system of trea'ment which has resulted in reducing maiiy 
of those who have survived and bL-en permitted to return to us to a condition, 
both physically and mentally, which no language v/e can use can adequ:itely 
describe. Though nearly all the patients novf in the Naval Academy liospital 
at Annapolis and in the West hospital, in Baltimore, have been under \\\'^ 
kindest and most inteJig^nt treatment for about three weeks past, and many of 
them for a greater length of time, still they present literally the appearance 
•of living skeletons, many of them being nothing but skin and bone; some of 
them are maimed for life, having been frozen while exposed to the inclemency 
of th(j winter season on Belle Isle, being compelled to lie on the bare ground, 
without tents or blankets, some of them without overcoats or even coats, with 
but li.tie fire to mitigate the severity of the winds and storms to which they 
were (-xposed. 

The testimony shews that the general practice of their captors was to rob them, 
as soon as th.-y were taken prisoners, of all their money, valuables, blankets, 
and good clothing, for which they received nothing in exchange except, p(u-haps, 
some old worn-out rebel clothing hardly better than none at all. Upon their 
arrival at Richmond they have been confined, without blankets or other covering. 



2 RETUKNED PRISONERS. 

in buildings without fire, or upon Belle Isle with, in many cases, no shelter, and. 
in others with nothing but old discarded army tents, so injured by rents and 
holes as to present but little barrier to the wind and storms; on several occasions, 
the witnesses say, they have arisen ia the morning from their resting-places upon 
the bare earth, and found several of their comrades frozen to death during the 
night, and that many others would have met the same fate had they not walked 
rapidly back and forth, during the hom-s which should have been devoted to 
sleep, for the purpose of retaining sufficient warmth to preserve life. 

In respect to the food furnished to our men by the rebel authorities, the 
tcstii^ony proves that the ration of each man was totally insufficient in quantity^ 
to preserve the health of a child, even had it been of proper quality, Avhich it 
was not. It consisted usually, at the most, of two small pieces of corn-bread, 
made in many instances, as the witnesses state, of corn and cobs. ground together, 
and badly prepared and cooked, of, at times, about two ounces of meat, usually^ 
of poor quality, and unfit to be eaten, and occasionally a few black worm-eaten 
beans, or something of that kind. Many of our men were compelled to sell to 
their guards, and others, for what price they could get, such clothing and 
blankets as they were permitted to receive of that forwarded for their use by 
our government, in order to obtain additional food sufficient to sustain life; thus,, 
by endeavoring to aroid one privation, reducing themselves to the same destitute 
condition in respect to clothing and covering that they were in before they re- 
ceived any from our government. When they became sick and diseased in con- 
sequence of this exposure and privation, and were admitted into the hospitals, 
their treatment was little, if any, improved as to food, though they, doubtless,, 
suffered less from exposure to cold than before. Their food still remained in- 
sufficient in quantity and altogether unfit in quality. Their diseases and wounds 
did not receive the treatment Avhich the commonest dictates of humanity would 
have prompted. One witness, whom your committee examined, who had lost all 
the toes of one foot from being frozen while on Belle Isle, states that for days at 
a time his wounds were not dressed, and that they had not been dressed for 
four days when he was taken from the hospital and carried on the flag-of-truce 
boat for Fortress Monroe. 

In reference to the condition to which our men were reduced by cold and 
hunger, your committee would call the attention to the following extracts from, 
the testimony. 

One witness testifies : 

I had no blankets until our government sent us some. 

Question. How did you sleep before you received those blankets ? 

Answer. We used to get togetljer just as close as we could, and sleep spoon- 
fashion, so that when one turned over we all had to turn over. 

Another Avltness testifies : 

Question. Were you hungry all the time 1 

Answer. Hungry! I could eat anything in the world that came before us;, 
sbme of the boys would get boxes from the north with meat or different kinds 
in them; and, after they had picked the meat off, they would throw the bones 
away into the spit-boxes, and we would pick the bones out of the spit-boxes 
and gnaw them over again. 

In addition to this insufficient supply of food, clothing, and shelter, our 
soldiers, while prisoners, have been subjected to the most cruel treatment from, 
those placed over them. They have been abused and shamefully treated on al- 
most every opportunity. Many have been mercilessly shot and killed when they 
failed to comply v/ith all the demands of their jailers, sometimes for violating 
rules of which they had not been informed. Crowded in great numbers in 
buildings, they have been fired at and killed by the sentinels outside when they 
appeared at the windows for the purpose of obtaining a little fresh air. One 
man, whose comrade in tlup service, in battle, and in captivity, had been sa 



EETUENED PEISONEES. 3 

fortunate as to be among tlio; y released from further torments, was shot dead as 
he was waving with his hand a last adieu to his friend ; and other instances of 
equally unprovoked murder are disclosed by the testimony. 

The condition of our returned soldiers as regards personal cleanliness, has 
been filthy almost beyond description. Their clothes have been so dirty and so 
covered with vermin, that those who received them have been compelled to destroy 
their clothing and re-clothe them with new and clean raiment. Their bodies 
and heads have been so infested with vermin that, in some instances, repeated 
washings have tailed to remove them ; and those who have received them in 
charge have been compelled to cut all the hair from their heads, and make ap- 
plications to destroy the vermin. Some have been received Avitli no clothing 
but shirts and drawers and a piece of blanket or other outside covering, entix'oly 
destitute of coats, hats, shoes or stockings; and the bodies of those better sup- 
plied with clothing have been equally dirty and filthy with the others, many 
who have been sick and in the hospital having had no opportunity to wash 
their bodies for weeks and months before they Avere released from captivity. 

Your committee are unable to convey any adequate idea of the sad and de- 
plorable condition of the men they saw in the hospitals they visited ; and the 
testimony they have taken cannot convey to the reader the impressions which 
your committee there received. The persons we saw, as we were assured by 
those in charge of them, have greatly improved since they have been received 
in the hospitals. Yet they are now dying daily, one of them being in the very 
throes of death as your committee stood by his bed-side and witnessed the sad 
spectacle there presented. All those Avhom your committee examined stated 
that they have been thus reduced and emaciated entirely in consequence of the 
merciless treatment they received while prisoners from their citemics ; and the 
physicians in charge of them, the men best fitted by their profession and ex- 
perience to express an opinion upon the subject, all say that they have no doubt 
that the statements of their patients are entirely correct. 

It will be observed from the testimony, that all the witnesses who testify upon 
that point state that the treatment they received while confined at Oolumbia, 
South Carolina, Dalton, Georgia, and other places, was far more humane than 
that ioey received at Richmond, where the authorities of the so-called confed- 
eracy were congregated, and where the power existed, had the inclinatiow not 
been wanting, to reform those abuses and secure to the prisoners they held 
some treatment that would bear a public comparison to that accorded by our 
authorities to the prisoners in our custody. Your committee, therefore, are con- 
strained to say that they can hardly avoid the conclusion, expressed by so many 
of our released soldiers, that the inhuman practices herein referred to are the 
result of a detei-mination on the part of the rebel authorities to reduce our 
soldiers in their power, by privation of food and clothing, and by exposure, to such 
a condition that those who may survive shall never recover so as to be able to 
render any effective service in the field. And your committee accordingly ask 
that this report, with the accompanying testimony, be printed with the report 
and testimony in relation to the massacre of Fort Pillow, the one being, in their 
opinion, no less than the other, the result of a predetermined policy. As regards 
the assertions of some of the rebel newspapers, that our prisoners have received 
at their hands the same treatment that their own soldiers in the field have 
received, they are evidently but the most glaring and unblushing falsehoods. 
No one can for a moment be deceived by such statements, who will reflect that 
our soldiers, who, when taken prisoners, have been stout, healthy men, in the 
prime and vigor of life, yet have died by hundreds under the treatment they 
have received, although requked to perform no duties of the camp or the march ; 
while the rebel soldiers are able to make long and rapid marches, and to offer a 
stubborn resistance in the field. 

Your committee, finding it impossible to describe in Avords the deplorable con- 



4 KETURNED PEISONERS. 

dition of tlicsc returned prisoners, have caused photographs to be taken of a 
number of them, and a fair samphj to be lithographed and appended to their 
report, that their exact condition may be known by all who examine it. Some 
of them have since died. 

There is one feature connected with this investigation, to which your com- 
mittee can refer with pride and satisfaction ; and that is the uncomplaining for- 
titude, the undiminished patriotism exhibited by our brave men under all their 
privations, even in the hour of death. 

Your committee will close their report by quoting the tribute paid these men 
by the chaplain of the hospital at Annapolis, who has ministered to so many of 
them in their last moments, who has smoothed their passage to the grave by 
his kindness and attention, and who has performed the last sad offices over 
their lifeless remains. He says : 

" There is another thing I would wish to state. All the men, without any 
exception among the thousands that have come to this hospital, have never in a 
single instance expressed a regret (notwithstanding the privations and suffer- 
ings they have endured) that they entered their country's service. They ha.ve 
been the most loyal, devoted and earnest men. Even on the last days of their 
lives they have said that all they hoped for was just to live and enter the ranks 
again and meet their foes. It is a most glorious record in reference to the devo- 
tion of our men to their country. I do not think their patriotism has ever been 
equalled in the history of the world." 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

B. F. WADE, CJiairman. 



War Department, 

Wash'mgton City, May 4, 1864. 
Sir : I have the honor to submit to you a report made to this department by 
Colonel Hoffman, commissary general of prisoners, in regard to the condition ©f 
Union soldiers who have, until within a few days, been prisoners of war at 
Richmond, and woidd respectfully request that your committee immediately 
proceed to Annapolis to take testimony there, and examine Avith their own eyes 
the condition of those who have been returned from rebel captivity. TJiC enor- 
mity of the crime committed by the rebels towards our prisoners for the last 
several months is not known or realized by our people, and cannot but fill with 
horror the civilized world when the facts are fully revealed. There; appears to 
have been a deliberate system of savage and barbarous treatment and starvation, 
the result of which will be that few, if any, of the prisoners that have been in 
their hands during the past winter will ever again be in a condition to render 
any service, or even to enjoy life. 

Your obedient servant, 

EDWIN M. STANTON, 

Secretary of War. 
Hon. B. F. Wade, 

Chairman of Joint Coimnitiee on Conduct of the War. 



Office of Commissary General of Prisoners, 

Washington, D. C, May 3, 1864. 
Sir : I have the honor to report that, pursuant to your instructions of the 
2d instant, I proceeded, yesterday morning, to Annapolis, with a view to sec 



RETURNEI* PRISONERS. O 

that the pfirolcd prisoners about to arrive there from Itichmoud were properly 
received and cared for. 

Tlie flag- of- truce boat New York, inidcr the charge of Major Mulford, with 
thirty-two oilicers, three hujadred and sixty-three enlisted men, and one citizen 
on board, reached the wharf at the Naval School hospital about ten o'clock. On 
going on board, I fiiund the officers generally in good health, and much cheered 
by their happj' release from the rebel prisons, and by the prospeci of again 
being with their friends. 

The enlisted men who had endured so many privations at Belle Isle and 
other places vrere, with few exceptions, in a very sad plight, mentally and 
physically, having for months been exposed to all the changes of the weather, 
with no othei' protection than a very insufficient supply of worthless tents, and 
with an allov.';i,nce of food scarcely sufficient to prevent starvation, even if of 
wholesome quality ; 1 ut as it was made of coarsely -ground corn, including the 
husks, and probably at times the cobs, if it did not kill by starvation, it was 
sure to do ii by the disease it created. Some of these poor fellows were wasted 
to mere skeletons, and had scarcely life enough remaining to appreciate that 
they were now in the hands of their friends, ;ind among them all there were few 
who had not become too niucli broken down and dispirited by their many priva- 
tions to be able to realize the happy prospect of relief from their sufferings which 
was before them. With rare exception, every face was sad with care and 
hunger; there was no brightening of the countenance or lighting up of the eye, 
to indicate a thought of anything beyond a painful sense of prostration of mind 
and body. Many faces showed that there was scarcely a ray of intelligence left. 

Every preparation had been made for their reception in anticipation of the 
arrival of the steamer, and immediately upon her being made fast to the wharf 
the paroled men were landed and taken immediately to the hospital, where, 
after receiving a warm bath, they were furnished with a suitable supply of new 
clothing, and received all those other attentions which their sad condition de- 
manded. Of the whol ' number, there are perhaps fifty to one hundred who, in 
a vfeek or ten days, will be hi a convalescent state, but the others will very 
slowly regain their lost health. 

That our soldiers, when in the hands of the rebels, are rtarved to death, cannot 
be denied. Every return of the flag-of-truce boat from City Point brings us t©o 
many living and dying witnesses to admit of a doubt of this terrible fact. I am 
informed that the authorities at Eichmond admit the fact, but excuse it on the 
plea that they give the prisonjsrs the same rations they give their own men. 
I3ut can this be so ? Can an army keep the field, and be acti^'e and efficient, on 
the same fare that kills prisoners of war at a frightful per-centage 1 I think not ; 
no man can believe it ; and Avhile a practice so shocking to humanity is per- 
sisted in by the rebel authorities, I would very respectfully urge that retaliatory 
measures he at once instituted by subjecting the officers we noAv hold as prisoners 
of war to a similar treatment. 

I took advantage of the opportunity ^^■hich this vi^dt to Annapolis gave me 
to make a hasty inspection of Camp Parole, and I am happy to report that I 
found it in every branch in a most commendable condition. The men all seemed 
to be cheerful and in fine health, and the police inside and out was excellent. 
Colonel Root, the commanding officer, deserves much credit for the very satis- 
factory condition to which he has brought his command. 

I have the h.onor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

W. HOFFMAN, 
Colonel 3d fnfantry. Commissary General of Prisoners. 

Hon. E. M. Stant;;iv, 

Secretary of War, Wa hin.'^loii. D. C. 



k 



KETUENED PRLSONEKS. 



TESTIMONY 



Annapolis, Maryland, 

May 6, 1864. 

Howard Leedom, sworn and examined: 
By the cliairman : 

Question. To wliat company and regiment have you belonged ? 
■ Answer. Company G, 52d New York. 

Question. How long have you been in the service? 

Answer. About seven months. 

Question. What is your age ] 

Answer. Seventeen. 

Question. Wlien and where were you taken prisoner ? 

Answer. At a place called Orange Grove, I think, back of Chancellorsville. 

Question. How long ago 1 

Answer. In November last. 

Question. Where were you then carried ? 

Answer. Right to Richmond. 

Question. In what prison were you placed 1 

Answer. I was put on Belle Isle first, and then I got sick and was taken to 
the hospital. 

Question. Describe how you were treated there, and the cause of your sick- 
ness. 

Answer. They did not treat me very kindly. I froze my feet on the island. 

Question. How came they to be frozen 1 

Answer. W^hen they took me prisoner they got away the good shoes I had on, 
and gave me an old pair of shoes, all cut and split open ; and when I was ou 
the island, I had just an old tent to lie imder. 

Question. Did you not have some blankets to put over you ? 

Answer. No, sir. They took away my blanket, and everything else — my 
shoes — even a pair of buckskin gloves I had. 

Question. Did they give you anything in place of them ? 

Answer. No, sir ; only that pair of shoes I said. 

Question. You had stockings ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What kind of a tent did you have 1 

Answer. The tent was not very good ; the rain beat right through it. 

Question. How badly were your feet frozen ? 

Answer. Well, my toes are all off one of my feet now. [The surgeon ac- 
companying the committee here took the dressings off the witness's feet, aisd 
exhibited them to the committee. The stumps of the toes were Just healiug.] 

Question. W^hat did they give you to eat ? 

Answer. They gave us corn-bread, and once in a while a little piece of meat. 

Question. How often did they give you meat ? 

Answer. Maybe once a day ; maybe once a week — -just as tliey happened to 
have it. 

Question. Did you get enough to eat^ such as it was % 



EETURNED PRISONERS. 7 

Answer. No, sir ; I did not even get enough corn-bread. 
. 'Question. How long were you on the island ? 

Answer. I was on the island only a month, and in the hospital three months. 

Question. How long is it since you were exchanged ? 

Answer. I came here on the 24th of March. 

Question. There were others there with you on the island 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How did they fare ? 

Answer. The same as I. did; we all fared alike. 

Question. Were any others frozen ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; plenty of them frozen to death. 

Question. Frozen to death ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were their blankets taken away like yours ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they had to lie out in the open ditch. They did not have 
as good over them as I had. 

Question. Did not they have a tent to sleep under ? 

Answer. No, sir ; no tent at all. There was an embankment thrown up, so 
as to keep them inside like, and they had to lie right down in the ditch there. 

Question. With nothing over them ] 

Answer. If some of them had their blanket, they put that over them ; but 
they had no tent, or anything of that kind. 

Question. Nothing to keep off the rain and snow l 

Answer. No, sir; nothing at all. 

Question. Are you certain that any of tiicm froze to death there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, I am. 

Question. State about the treatment you received after your feet Avere frozen, 
when you were in the hospital. 

Answer. Sometimes my feet were dressed there every day ; sometimes I went 
three or four days withoitt dressiug — -just whether their nurses happened to be 
busy or not. When I was exchanged, I had not been dressed for four or five 
days. 

Question. Were any of the confederate sick in the hospital with you 1 

Answer. Not that I know of. 

Question. Do you know how they treated their own soldiers that were in the 
hospital 1 

Answer. I do not. I suppose they treated them better than they did us, 
though. 

Question. Was your food any better in the hospital than on the island ? 

Answer. It was when we first went there, but when I came away it was u) 
better. 

Washington Collins, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question, To what company and regiment do you belong? 

Answer. Company A, 5th Kentucky infantry regiment. 

Question. Where were you taken prisoner? 

Answer. I was taken prisoner at the battle of Chickamauga. 

Question. Wherc were you then carried 1 

Answer. From there to Richmond, as straight throvxgh as they could get us 
through. 

Question. State how you were treated after you were taken prisoner. 

Answer. We were treated very rough. The eatables we got on the way from 
the battle-field to Hichmond were mouldy crackers, such as you would never try 
to eat, with one or two exceptions, Avhen Ave got a little light bread. 



8 RETURNED PRISONERS. 

Question. Where were yon conlu!«d at Ritlimond 1 

Answer. Wc were put in tobaeco factories, and kept there without clothing- 
or blankets, unti 1 our government sent us blankets and clothing, and some pro- 
visions. 

Question. Were tLe clothing and blankets which you had when taken prison- 
ers taken from you ; 

Answer. Yes, sir ; our blankets were pretty much all taken from us. 

Question. Did you suffer from cold 1 

Answer. Yes, sir, severely. 

Question. Was your money taken from you ? 

Answer. Those of us that had money, had it pretty much all taken away, 
or scared out of us. 

Question. W^hat kind of food had you after you reached Richmond 1 

Answer. We got, I should judge, about six ounces of light bread, and in the 
afternoon about two spoonfuls of black beans — worm-eaten beans. 

Question. Was that all you had for the day 1 

Answer. I think we got, once a day, about two ounces of meat. 

Question. What was the character of the meat and bread ? 

Answer. The character of the meat was pretty tolerably rough. I cannot 
exactly dci^cribe it. I never did eat any beef like some of it ; and the first dose 
of medicine I took since I was in the army, was when I was put in the hospital 
at Danville. About six or seven weeks ago, before that, I v/as always a hearty, 
healthy man. '' 

Question. Have you had any disease or sickness except that occasioned by 
want of proper food and clothing? 

Answer. No, sir; I think not. (The surgeon here remarked, "His disease is 
the result of starvation, privation, and exposure.") 

Question. When were you exchanged? 

AnsAver. We left the 1st of May, I think. I have more of a life-like feeling 
about me now than I had w^hen I left Richmond. 

Question. Do you think you are in a better condition now 1 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I know I am. The authorities did not think it safe for 
me to start ; but I told them if I was going to die, I would rather die on the 
Chesapeake than die there. 

Question. After you grew so very sick, was your food improved any 1 

Answer. Very little. The last food I received was light diet. When I left 
the hospital to go on board the flag-of-truce boat, I received about a gill of what 
they call soup, though in fact it was just nothing ; I should say it was only a 
little starch and water; and then I got a little piece of corn-bread, about that 
large, (measuring on his fingers about two inches square,) and wc got a piece- 
of meat, once a day, about the same size. 

Questioii. Were the other men treated as you were, so for as j'ou know ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I wish to speak of one thing. After this food was issued 
out, what Avas called the ward-master Avould go round in the evening Avith a 
little mush made of meal, and gi\'e some of us a table-spoonful of it. Qay there 
Avere 60 or SO patients, and there would be 6 or 8, maybe 10, of those patients 
Avould get a little spoonful of this mush ; and then he Avould come round a 
little Avhile ai'ierAvards and pour a table-spoonful of molasses over it ; and just 
as likely as not, in a feAv minutes after that he Avould come round Avith some 
vinegar and pour a spoonful of vinegar over that. 

Question. Why did he do that ? 

Answer. He said that was the Avay it Avas issued to him. 

Question. Did he give any reason for mixing it altogether in that Avay ? 

AnsAver. No, sir ; and there were a grea,t many of our own men Avho treated 
us as bad as the secesh, because thoise there acting as nurses, if there Avas any 
little delicacy for the sick, Avould just gobble it up. 

Question, Were all of our men suffering for want of food? 



RETURNED PRISONERS. 9 

Answer. Yes, sir, all of them. In tlie winter time tlie.se secesh got so they 
would haul up loads of cabbages, all full of lice, and tliro'v them raw iuto the 
room for us to eat. 

Charles Gallagher, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Odell : 

Question. Where are you from ? 

Ansvfcr. From Guernsey count}', Ohio. 

Question. To what regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. 40th Ohio. 

Question. How long have you been in the service ? 

Ansv/er. Pretty nearly three years. 

Question. Where were yon taken prisoner ? 

Answer. At Chickamauga. 
. Question. When? 

Answer. On tlie 22d of last September. " 

Question. State what happened then to you. 

Answer. When they took me prisoner they took me right on to Richmond, 
kept me there awhile, then sent me to Danville and kept me there avvhile. I 
got sick at Danville and was put in the hospital, and then they sent me back to 
Richmond and paroled me and sent me here. 

Question. How did they treat you while you were a prisoner ? 

Answer. Pretty bad. They gave us corn-bread, and not very much of it ; 
and we had to lie right down on the floor, without any blankets, until a ong 
while about Christmas. We had just to lie as thick on the floor as we could 
get. 

Question. How were you treated whei. you were taken sick? 

Answer. A little better We then had a sort of bed to lie on. 

Question. Did you have all the food you v/anted? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. What kind of food did you get ? 

Answer. Corn-bread, a little piece of meat, sometimes a little rice-soup, and 
sometimes a few beans. 

Question. How often did you get meat 1 

Answer. Along through the winter we got a little bi! of fresh beef, (perhaps 
once a day,) and then from about March a little pork. 

Question. What was the matter with you when you v.ent to the hospital? 

AujSwer. I got a cough which settled on me, and I had pain in my breast. 

Question. Were there any other prisoners at Danville ? ■ 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did the}' suffer at all from want ? 

Answer. They were pretty hungry. 

Question. Did you complain to the authorities thai you did not get food, 
enough t 

Answer. No, sir; it would not have made any difference. They said there 
that we got every ounce that was allowed t® us. 

Question. Did you make your wants known to any one? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; but they would not give us any more. They would come 
in and give you a half a loaf of bread, and tell you that was your day's rations ^ 
you could take that or nothing. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Did they give you as much as their own soldiers for rations? 
Answer. No, sir; their own soldiers got a great deal more. 



10 RETURNED PRISONERS. 

ByMr.Odell: 

Question. What was your treatment aside from your supply of food 1 Was 
it kind ? 

Answer. No, sir. They just came in and shoved us round ; finally, they run 
us all up from one floor to the second floor, and only let one go down at a time. 
When he got back they let another go down. 

Isaiah G. Booker, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Harding: 

Question. How old are you? 

Answer. Twenty-one on the 13th of this month. 

Question. Where did you enlist ? 

Answer. Bath, Maine. 

Question. How long were you in the army before you were taken prisoner? 

Answer. I enlisted on the 5th of September, 1861, and was taken prisoner 
last July. 

Question. Where were you taken prisoner 1 

Answer. On Morris island, Charleston, Soutli Carolina. 

Question. Where Avere you then sent 1 

Answer. I was sent to Cohxmbia, South Carolina, where we were kept about 
two months, and then we were sent to Richmond, put on Belle Isle, and staid 
there the remainder of the time. 

Question. How were you treated at Columbia? 

Answer. I was treated a great deal better there than I was at Belle Isle. 
We got meat twice a day, rice once, and Indian bread once. We got very near 
as much as we wanted to eat. 

Question. How were you treated at Richmond? 

Answer. I suffered there terribly with hunger. I could eat anything. 

Question. Can you tell us what kind of food you got there ? 

Answer. Dry Indian bread, and, when I first went there, a very little meat. 

Question. When were you taken sick ? 

Answer. I was taken sick — I was sick with the diarrhoea a fortnight before 
I went to the hospital, and I was in the hospital a little over a week before I 
was exchanged. I was released on the 7th of March, and got here the 9th. 

Question. How were you treated while in the hospital ? 

Answer. I was treated there worse than on Belle Isle. We did not get any 
salt of any account — only a little piece of bread that would hardly keep a 
chicken alive. 

Question. Did you get any rice? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Any soup 1 

Answer. Once in a while of mornings I would get a little. 

Question. Did the physician come itound to see you every day? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did he give you any medicine ? 

Answer. He gave me some pills. 

Question. What was their manner towards you after you were taken sick 
and in the hospital? Were they kind, or rough ? 

Answer. They were neither kind nor rough, but indifferent. The corn-bread 
I got seemed to burn my very insides. When 1 would go down to the river of 
mornings to wash myself, as I put the water to my face it seemed as though I 
wanted to sup the water, and to sup it, and sup it, and sup it all the time. 

Question. Did you make no complaint to the officers on Belle Isle of your 
food? 

Answer. No', sir. 



RETURNED PRISONERS, 11 

Question. Did you a?k tlicm for any more ? 

Answer. No, sir ; 1 knew there was no use. I do not think I spoke to aa. 
officer while I was there. 

Question. Did you ever tell those who furnished you with the food you did 
get, of the insufficiency of it? 

AnsAver. Yes, sir. 

Question. What answer did they give you ? 

Answer. That was all we were allowed, they said. 

Question. Did you have blankets while you were on Belle Isle? 

Answer. 1 had no blanket until our government sent us some. 

Question. How did you sleep before you received those blankets ? 

Answer. We used to get together just as close as we could, and sleep spoon- 
fashion, so that when one turned over we all had to turn over. 

Question. Did they furnish you any clothing while you were there I 

Ausv/er. No, sir ; the rebs did not furnish us a bit. It was very warm 
"weather v/hen I was taken prisoner, and I had nothing on mo but my pants, 
shirt, gloves, shoes, stockings, and cap ; and I received no more clothing until 
our government sent us some in December, I think. We had to lie right down 
on the cold ground. 

Question. Did you not have a tent ? 

Answer. I had none when I first went there. After a while vv^e had one, but 
it was a very poor affair ; the rain would come right through it. 

Question. Were you exposed to th§ dew and rain, and wind and snow 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. And before you got the tent you lay in the open air 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How did the others there v,'ith you fare ; the same as you did ? 

Answer. Many of them had money, with whicJi they bought things of the 
guard; but I had no money. 

Question. Were there others there who had no money? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did they fare the same as you t 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. After you went into the hospital, did you receive the same treat- 
ment as their own sick received who were in the hospital with you, or did they 
have any of their sick in there 1 

Answer. I think none of their sick were in there. I suffered a great deal 
■with hunger when I was on Belle Isle. When I first went there I had no pas- 
sage of the bowels for eighteen days, and when I did have one it was just as 
dry as meal. 

Question. Did you have any medicine at that time ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I took no medicine until I went to the hospital. About 
the middle or last of February (somewhere about there) I took a very severe 
cold. It seemed to settle all over me. I was as stiff in all my joints as I could 
be. 

Question. Did your strength decrease much before you were taken sick in 
February ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I stood it very well until about the 1st of February. 
After that I commenced to go down pretty fast. I know that one day I under- 
took to wash my shirt, and got it about half washed, when I was so weak I had 
to give it up. 

Question. Do you think you had any other disease or sickness than Avhat 
was caused by exposure and starvation at that time 1 

Answer. No, sir. When I was taken prisoner I weighed about 170 pounds, 
I think. I had always been a very hearty, stout man — could eat anything, and 
stand almost anything. 



12 RETURNED PRUjONERS. 

Is;iac II. Lev/ii?, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Julien : 

Question. To what company and regiment do you belong 1 
Answer. Company K, 1st Vermont cavalry. 
Question. When vv^ere you taken prisoner 1 ■ 

Ans■\^ er. I war:, lakcn prisoner on the 22d of March, on Kilpatrick's raid. 
Question. AVhcre were you then carried ? 

Answer. I'liey carried me to Richmond, and put me ia a tobacco house there. 
Question. Hov»' did they treat yow there ? 
Answer. Well, they did not treat me as well as they might. 
Question. What did they give you to eat ? 
Answer. They gave me corn-bread. 
Question. How much and how often? 

Answer. Not but very little. They gave me a little twice a day^ 
Question. Did they give you any meat ? 
Ansv/er. Once in a while, a little. 
Question. What kind of meat 1 
Answer. Beef. 
Question. Could you eat it 1 
Answer. No, sir. 

[The witness here was evidently so weak and exhausted that the committee 
suspended his examination.] 

Mortimer F. Brown, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. Where are you from, and to wliat company and regiment do you 
belong 1 

Answer. I am from Steubenvillc, Ohio; I was in the 2d Ohio;: Colonel 
McCook was our colonel when I v/as taken prisoner. 

Question. Where were you taken prisoner ] 

Answer. At Chickamauga. 

Question. Where were you then carried 1 

Answer. From Chickamauga to Richmond. 

Question. How did y»u fare while in Richmond ? 

Answer. We lived very scantily, and hardly anytinng to cat. Some of the 
boys, in order to get enough to live on, had to trade away what clothing they 
could to the guard for bread, &c. 

Question. What did they allow you to eat ? 

Ansv.'cr. When we first went to Richmond our rations wer(; bacon and wheat- 
bread. We did very well at first, but they went on cutting it down. 

Question. How was it finally ? 

Answer. We r.ceived corn-bread once or twice a day — I think it was twice. 
After wo went to Danville v»'e fared a groat deal better in regard to rations. 

Question. Did you have enough to eat, such as it was ? 

Answer. I did, at Danville. 

Question. How was it at Richmond ? 

Ansjv.'cr. Well, some had ]ilcnty to eat, but, as far as I was concerned, I was 
hungry most all the time. From the time we left Riclmiond until we drew our 
meat at Danville — say ten days — we had with us to eat on'y what they called 
Graham bread — nothing but b.-ead and wvater for those ten days. After we got 
to Danville it was better. They issued us pork and beef sometimes. There, 
there would be times when we would be without meat for a couple of days. 

Question. What was their bearing and treatment towards you, asid(? from 
your food ? 



KETUKNED PRISONERS. 13 

Answer. Wc were treated tolerably kindly until we commenced our tunnel- 
ling operations ; then tliey treated us very harshly ; then they took the prisoners 
that had occupied three floors and put them all on two floors, and would only 
allow from three to six to go to the rear at one time. 

Question. What is the matter with you now 1 

Answer- Nothing at all but scurvy. I am getting along very well now since 
I got here. The treatment at Danville was a palace alongside of that at Rich- 
^nond. 

Franklin Dinsmoro, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman: 

Question. Where did you enlist? 

Answer. At Camp Nelson, Kentucky. 

Question. To what State do you belong'? 

Aufi^wer. Eastern Tennessee. 

Question. How long have you been in the army] 

Answer. I enlisted on the 11th or 12th of last July; I do not remember 
•<vvhich day. _, 

Question. To what regiment do you beloiig? 

Answer. Eighth Tennessee cavahy. 

Question. Who was your colonel? 

Answer. Colonel Strickland. 

Question. Where wcro you taken prisoner 1 

Answer. At Zollicoffer, near the East Tennessee and Virginia line. 

Question. Where were you then carried 1 

Answer. Right straight on to Richmond. I was taken on the line of the 
jailroad. We were burning bridges there to keep the enemy out. 

Question. How did you fare after you got to Richmond ? 

Answer. They just starved us. 

Question. What did they give you to eat 1 

Answer. For forty-eight hours after we got there they gave us only just 
■what we could breathe; then they gave us a little piece of white bread and just 
three bites of beef. A man could take it all decently at three bites. That is 
the way Ave lived until we went to Danville, and then we had meat enough to 
make half a dozen bites, with bugs in it. 

Question. What brought on your sickness 1 

Answer. Starvation. I Avas so starved there that Avhen I Avas doAvn I could 
not get up Avithout catching hold of something to pull myself up by. 

Question. What did you- live in ? 

Answer. In a brick building, Avithout any fire, or anything to coA'cr us with. 

Question. Had you no blankets l 

Answer. No, sir; aa'C had not. They CA^en took our coats from us, and part 
of us had to lie there on the flour in our shirt sleeves. 

Question. In the Avinter 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did any of the men freeze 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; many a man just fell dead Avalking around trying to keep 
liimself Avarm, or, as he Avas lying on the floor, died during the night; and if 
you looked out of a Avindow, a sentinel v/ould shoot you. They shot some five 
or six of our boys Avho Avere looking out. Some of our boys Avould work for 
the guards to get more to cat, just to keep them from starving. There would 
be pieces of cobs in our bread, left there by the grinding machine, half as long 
as my finger, and the bread itself looked just as if you had taken a parcel of 
dough and let it bake in the sun It Avas all full of cracks where it had dried, 
.and the inside was all raw. 



14 ' RETURNED PRISONERS. 

Question. Were yoxi hungry all tlie time? 

Answer. Hungry ! I could eat anything in the world that came before us. 
Some of the boys would get boxes from the north with meat of different kinds- 
in them, and, after they had picked the meat off, they would throw the bones 
;i\yay into the spit-bo s;es, and we would pick the bones out of the spit-boxes 
and gnaw them over again. 

Question. Did they have any more to give you ? 

Answer. They had plenty. They were just doing it for their own gratifica- 
tion. They said Seward had put old Beast Butler in there, and they did not 
care how they treated us. 

Question. Did you complain about not having enough? 

Answer. Certainly we complained, but they said we had plenty. They 
cursed us, and said we had a sight more than their men had who were prisoners 
in our lines. 

Question. Do you feel any better now since you have been here ? 

Answer. A great deal better; like a new man now. I am gaining flesh now.. 

By Mr. Odell : 

Question. What was your occupation before you went into the army? 
AnsAver. I was a farmer. 

By Mr. Julian : 
Question. Do you know how they treated their own sick? 
Answer. No, sir. 

By Mr. Odell: 

Question. Were other Tennesseeans taken prisoners the same time you were? 

Answer. Yes, sir; there were twenty-four of us taken prisoners. The small- 
pox was very severe among us. Our own men said that they were just trying 
to kill the Tennesseeans and Kentuckians. Out of the twenty-four, there were 
ten of us left when they started for Georgia. No man can tell precisely how 
we were treated and say just how it was. 

L. H. Parhan, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. From what State are you 'I 

Answer. West Tennessee. 

Question. To what regiment do you belong ? 

Answer. The 3d West Tennessee cavalry. 

Question. Where were you taken prisoner 1 

Answer. In Henry county, West Tennessee. 

Question. From there where were you carried ? 

Answer. From there they marched us on foot, some 350-odd miles, to Decatur. 

Question. What wore you given to eat ? 

Answer. Sometimes for twenty-four or thirty hours we would have a little 
piece of beef and some corn-bread. 

Question. Were you a well man when you v/ere taken prisoner ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; a stout man for a little nvin. I was very stout. 

Question. Were you brought to your present condition by want of food ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; and sleeping in the cold. They took my money and 
clothes and everything else away from me, even my pocket-comb and kniiV;, and 
my finger-ring that my sister gave me. They were tiiken away when I was 
captured. 

[The witness, who was so weak th;:t h<i could not raise his head, appeared to> 
be so much exlutuitrd In- talkiiiL'; tli:;( tiic cduimitt'.-r refrained fiom further ex- 



RETURNED PRISONERS. 15 

amiuation. A-^ tlicy were moving away from his bed, he spoke up and said: 
"1 am better now than Avhen I came here. I have some strength now. I hope 
I t^hall get better, for I want to see my old father and mother once more."] 

James Sweeney, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Where did you reside when you enlisted 1 

Answer. Haverhill, Massachusetts. 

Question. To what company and regiment do you beloug ? 

Answer. Company E, 17th Massachusetts. 

Question. When were you taken prisoner? 

Answer. First of February. 

Question. Where ? 

Answer. Six miles from Newbern, North Carolina. 

Question. Where were you then carried 1 

Answer. To Richmond. 

Question. How were you treated after you were taken prisoner ? 

Answer. We had no breakfast that day. We started out early in the morn- 
ing — the 132d New York was with us — v/ithout anything to eat. We had 
nothing to cat all that day, and they made us sleep out all that night without 
anything to eat. It rained that night; then they marched us the next day 
thirty miles, to Kingston, without anything to eat, except it was, about twelve 
o'clock, one of the regular captains, who had some crackers in his haversack,, 
gave us about one each, and some of the boys managed to get an ear of corn 
from the wagons, but the rest of them were pushed back by the guns of the 
guard; then we were kept in the streets of Kingston until about nine o'clock, 
when we had a little pork and three barrels of crackers for about two hundred 
of us. I got three or four crackers. Then they put us in freight cars that 
they had carried hogs in, all filthy and dirt}^ and we were nearly frozen by the 
time Ave got to Goldsborough ; and near W(ddon they camped us in a field all 
day long, like a spectacle for the people to look at, and when we got to Rich- 
mond they put us in a common for a while, and then we were taken to prison. 
About eleven o'clock that day they brought us some corn-bread. They gave 
me about three-quarters of a small loaf and a dipper of hard, black beans with 
worms in them. We were kept there all night. If we went near the window, 
bullets were fired at us. Two or three hundred men lay on the floor. I was 
kept between three and four weeks on Belle Isle. 

Question. How was it for food there ? 

Answer. That night they gave us a piece of corn-bread about an inch thick, 
two or three inches long. Some nights we would have a couple of spoonfuls, 
maybe, of raw rice or raw beans ; other nights they would not give us that. A 
squad of '100 men of us would have about 20 sticks of wood, and in order to 
cut that up we would have to pay a man for the use of an axe by giving him a 
piece of the stick for splitting up the rest. We lay right on the ground in the 
snow. Twenty of us together would lay with our feet so close to the fire that 
the soles of our boots would be all drawn, and we would get up in the morn- 
ing all shivering, and I could not eat what little food I did get. 

Question. What is the cause of your sickness ? 

Answer. Just the food we got there and this exposure. Eating this corn- 
bread continually gave me the diarrhoea. Wc would get thirsty and drink that 
river water. We had little bits of beef sometimes; generally it was tough, 
more like a piece of India-rubber you would rub pcsncil-marks out with. What 
little food we did get was so bad wc could not eat it. At first, for five or six 
days, we could eat it pretty w(^]l. liut afterwards I could not eat it. 



16 EETUKNED PEISONERS. 

Question. Have you been brouglit to your present condition by your treat- 
ment there ? 

An,•?^\rer. Yes, sir ; by the want of proper food, and exposure to the cold. 

John C. Burchain, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Julian : 

Question. Where did you enlist, and iu what regiment ? 

Answer. I enlisted in Indianapolis, in the 75th Indiana regiment, Colonel 
Robinson. 

Q,uestion. When were you taken prisoner, and whore ? 

Answer. I was taken prisoner at Chickamauga, on the 20th of September. 

Question. Where were you carried then ? 

Answer. The next day they took us to Atlanta, and then on to Richmond. 

Question. What prison were you put in ? 

Answer. I was on Belle Isle live or six days and nights, and then they put 
me iu ii prison over in town. 

Question. How did they treat you there 1 

Answer. Rough, rough, rough. 

Question. What did tliey give you to eat ? 

Answer. A small bit of bread and a little piece of meat; black beans full of 
worms. Sometimes meat pretty good, sometimes the meat was so rotten that you 
could smell it as soon as you got it in the house. We were used rough, I can 
tell you. 

Question. Did they leave you your property ? 

Answer. They took everything we had before ever we got to Richmond ; my 
hat, blankets, knife. We did not do A'ery well until we got some blankets from 
our government ; afterwards we did better. Before that we slept' right on the 
floor, with nothing over ixs except a little old blanket one of us had. 

Question. What was their manner towards you 1 

Answer. I call it pretty rough. If a man did not walk just right up to the 
mark they were down on him, and not a man of us dared to put his head out 
of the window, for he would be shot if he did. Several were shot just for 
that. • 

Question. What is the cause of your sickness 1 

Answer. Nothing but exposure and the kind of food we had there. I was a 
tolerably stout man before I got into their hands; after that I was starved 
nearly to death, 

Daniel Gentis, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. What State are you from ? . ♦ 

Answer. Indiana. 

Question. When did you enlist, and in what company and regiment ? 

Answer. I enlisted on the 6th of August, 1861, in company I, 2d New York 
regiment. 

Question. Where were you taken prisoner ] 

Answer. I was taken prisoner at Stevensville, Virginia ; I was there with 
Colonel Dahlgren, on Kilpatrick's expedition. 

Question. Were you taken prisoner at the same time that Colonel Daldgrcn 
was killed ? 

Answer. I was there when he was killed, but I was taken prisoner the next 
morning. 

Question. What do you know about the manner of his death and the treat- 
ment his body received ? 

Answer. He was shot within a foot and a half or two feet of me. I got 



RETURNED PRISONERS. 17 

.■wounded that same night. The next morning I was taken prisoner, and as we 
came along we saw his body, with his clothes all oflf. He was entirely naked, 
and he was put into a hole and covered up. 

Question. Buried naked in that way? 

Answer. Yes, sir; no coffin at all. Afterwards his body was taken up and 
carried to a slue and washed off, and then sent off to Richmond. A despatch 
came from Richmond for his body, and it was sent there. 

Question. It has been said they cut off his finger ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; his little finger was cut off, and his ring taken off. 

By Mr. Odell : 

Question. How do you know there was a ring on his finger 1 

Answer. I saw the fellow who had it, and who said he took it off. When 
they took his body to a slue and washed it off they put on it a shirt and draw- 
ers, and then put it in a box and sent it to Richmond. 

Question. How far was that from Richmond 1 

Answer. It was about 40 miles from Richmond, and about 10 miles from 
West Point. 

Question. How were you treated yourself? 

Answer. I fared first-rate. I staid at the house of a Dr. Walker, of Vir- 
ginia, and Dr. Walker told me that a private of the 9th Virginia cavalry took 
off Colonel Dahlgren's artificial leg, and that General Ewell, I think it was, or 
some general in the southern army who had but one leg, gave the private $2,000 
for it, (confederate cuiTCUcy.) I saw the private who took it, and saw him have 
the leg. 

By the chairman : 

Question. How do you know they received a despatch from Richmond t» 
have the body sent there 1 

Answer. AH the information I got about the despatch was from Dr. Walker, 
who said they were going to take the body to Richmond and bury it where no 
one could find it. 

Question. Did Colonel Dahlgren make any speech or read any papers to his 
command 1 

Answer. No, sir ; not that I ever heard of. They questioned me a great 
deal about that. The colonel of the 9th Virginia cavalry questioned me about 
it. I told him just all I knew about it. I told him I had heard no papers 
read, nor anything else. 

Question. Did you ever hear any of your fellow- soldiers say they ever heard 
•any such thing at all 1 

Answer. No, sir ; and when I started I had no idea where I was going. 

Question. Were you in prison at Richmond 1 

Answer. I was there for four days, but I was at Dr. Walker's pretty nearly 
a month and a half 

Question. During the four days you were in prison did you see any of our 
other soldiers in prison there 1 

Asnwer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How did they fare ? 

Answer. We all fared pretty rough on corn -bread and beans. Those who 
were in my ward are here now sick in bed. 

Question. How happened it that you fell into the hands of Dr. Walker par- 
ticularly ? 

Answer. The ^^'ay it came about was this : In the morning I asked some offi- 
cers of the regular regiment for a doctor to dress my wound. One of the doc- 
tors there said he could not do it. I spoke to a lieutenant and askrd him to be 
kind enough to get some doctor to dress it, and he got tlii.s Dr. Walker. The 

Rep. Com. 68 ^i 



18 EETUEIsED PRISONERS. 

doctor asked me to go to his house, and stay there if I would. I told liim 
"certainly I would go." The colonel of the rebel regiment said that the doctor 
could take me there, and I staid until Captain Magruder came up there and told 
Dr. "Walker that I had to be sent to Richmond. 

Question. Where were you wounded ? 

Answer. In the knee. 

[At this point the committee concluded to examine no more of the patients 
in the hospital, as most of them were too weak to be examined without becoming 
too much exhausted, and because the testimony of all amounted to about the 
same thing. They therefore confined the rest of their investigation to the 
testimony of the surgeons in charge, and other persons attending upon the 
patients.] 

Surgeon B. A. Van Derkieft, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. Are you in the service of the United States ; and if so, in what 
capacity ? 

Answer. I am a surgeon of voluntcei-s in the United States service ; in charge 
of Jiospital division No. 1, known as the Naval Hospital, Annapolis, and have 
been here since the 1st of June, 1863. 

Question. State what you know in regard to the condition of our exchanged 
or paroled prisoners who have been brought here, and also your opportunities 
to know that condition ? 

Answer. Since I have been here I think that from five to six thousand paroled 
prisoners have been treated in this hospital as patients. They have generally 
come here in a very destitute and feeble condition ; many of them so low that 
they die the very day they arrive here. 

Question. What is the character of their complaints generally, aad what does 
that character indicate as to the cause 1 

Answer. Generally they are suffering from debility and chronic diarrhoea, the 
result, I have no doubt, of exposure, privations, hardship, and ill treatment. 

Question. In what respect would hardship and ill treatment superinduce the 
complaints most prevalent among these paroled prisoners ? 

Answer. These men, having been very much exposed, and not having had 
nourishment enough to sustain their strength, are consequently predisposed to 
be attacked by such diseases as diarrhoea, fever, scurvy, and all catarrhal 
affections, which, perhaps, in the beginning are very slight, but, on account of 
want of necessary care, produce, after a while, a very serious disease. For in- 
stance, a man exposed to the cold may have a little bronchitis, or perhaps a 
little inflammation of the lungs, which, under good treatment, would be easily 
cured — would be considered of no importance whatever ; but being continually 
exposed, and not having the necessary food, the complaint is transformed, after 
a time, into a very severe disease. 

Question. Is it your opinion, as a physician, that the complaints of our returned 
prisoners arc superinduced by want of proper food, or food of sufficient quan-^ 
tity, and from exposure 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What is the general character of the statements our prisoners have 
made to you in regard to their treatment ? 

Answer. They complained of want of food, of bad food, and a want of cloth- 
ing. Very often, though not always, they are robbed, when taken prisoners, 
of all the good clothes they have on. There is no doubt about that, for men 
have often arrived here with nothing but their pants and shirts on ; no coat, 
overcoat, no cap, no shoes or stockings, and some of them without having had 
any opportunities to wash themselves for weeks and months, so that when they 



I 



KETURNED PRISONERS. 19 

arrive here, ttie scurf on tlicir skirv i.s one-eiglith of an inch thick ; and we 
have had several cases of men v>'ho have been shot for the slightest ofifence. 
There is a man now here who at one time put his hand out of the privy, which 
was nothing but a window in the wall, to steady himself and keep himself from 
falling, and he was shot, and we have been obliged to amputate his arm since 
he arrived here. These men complain that they have had no shelter. We 
have men here now who say that for five or six months they have been com- 
pelled to lay on the sand. I have no doubt about the correctness of their 
statements, for the condition of their skins shows the statements to be true. 
Their joints are calloused, and they have callouses on their backs, and some 
have even had the bones break through the skin. There is one instance in 
particular that I would mention. One man died in the hospital there one hour 
before the transfer of prisoners was made, and as an act of humanity the sur- 
geon in charge of the hospital allowed the friends of this man to take him on 
iboard the vessel in order to have him buried among his friends. This man w.is 
brought here right from the Richmond hospital. He was so much covered with 
vermin and so dirty that we were not afraid to make the statement that the 
man had not been washed for six months. Now, as a material circumstance 
to prove that these men have been badly fed, I will state that we must be very 
careful in feeding them when they arrive here, for a very light diet is too much 
for them at first. 

Question. You have accompanied us as we have examined some of the patients 
in the hospital to-day. Do their statements to us, under oath, correspond with 
the statements which they made when they first arrived here 1 

Answer. They are ql^ite the same ; there is no difference. Every man makes 
the same statement, and we therefore believe it to be true. All say the same 
in regard to rations, treatment, exposure and privations. Once in a while I 
have found a man who pretended to have been treated very well, but by exam- 
ining closely I find that such men are not very good Union men. 

Question. You say that about six thousand paroled prisoners have come 
under your supervision and treatment ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State generally what their condition has been. 

Ansvt^er. Very bad, indeed. I cannot find terms sufiicient to express what 
their condition was. I cannot state it properly. 

Question. You have already stated that, as a general thing, they have been 
destitute of clothing. 

Answer. Yes, sir; dirty, filthy, covered with vermin, dying. At one time 
we received three hundred and sixty patients in one day, and fourteen died 
within twelve hours ; and there were six bodies of those who had died on board 
the transport that brought them up here. 

Question. What appeared to be the complaint of which they died 1 

Answer. Very extreme debility, the result of starvation and exposure — the 
same as the very weak man you saw here, [L. H. Parham.] 

Question. We have observed some very emaciated men here, perfect skele- 
tons, nothing but skin and bone. In your opinion, as a physician, what has 
reduced these men to that condition? 

Answer. Nothing but starvation and exposure. 

Question. Can you tell the proportion of the men who have died to the 
number that have lately arrived from Richmond] 

Answer. If time is allowed me I can send the statement to the committee. 

Question. Do so, if you please. 

Answer. I will do so. I will say that some of these men who have stated 
th--y were well treated, I have found out to have been very bad to the Union 
m. II. 



20 EETURKED PRISONERS. 

Question. Are those men you have just mentioned as having been Avell 
treated an exception to the general rule? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; a very striking exception. 

Question. Have you ever been in charge of confederate prisoners 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State the course of treatment of our authorities towards them. 

Answer, We have never made the slightest difference between our own men 
and confederate prisoners when their sick and wounded have been in our hands. 

Question. You have treated both the same 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. When any one of their men, wounded or sick, has been 
a patient in our hands, we have treated him the same as we do our own men. 

By Mr. Julian : 

Question. Have their sick and wounded been kept separate from ours, or 
have they been kept together 1 

Answer. In Washington they were kept separate, but at Antietam, where an 
hospital was established, in order to have the patients treated where they were 
injured, the Union and confederate patients were treated together and alike. At 
Hagerstown almost everybody is secesh. Well, the most I can say is, that some 
of the secesh ladies there came to me and stated that they were very glad to 
see that we had treated their men the same as ours. 

Question. It is sometimes said, by the rebel newspapers, at least, that they 
have given the same rations to our prisoners that they give to their own sol- 
diers. Now, I want to ask you, as a medical man, if it is possible, with the 
amount of food that our prisoners have had, for men to retain their health and 
vigor, and perform active, service in the field ? 

Answer. I do not believe that the rebels could fight as well, or make such 
marches as they have done, upon such small rations as our prisoners have re- 
ceived. 

Question. Can the health of men be preserved upon such rations as they 
have given our prisoners? 

Answer. No, sir ; it cannot, not only on account of quantity, but quality. I 
have seen some specimens of their rations brought here by our paroled prisoners, 
and I know what they are. 

Question. As a general rule, what is the effect of treating men in that way 1 

Answer. Just what we hear every day — men dying from starvation and de- 
bility. Many of these men — mostly all the wounded men — are suffering from 
hospital gangrene, which is the result of not having their wounds dressed in 
time, and having too many crowded in the same apartment. We have had men 
here whose wounds have been so long neglected that they have had maggots 
in them by the hundred. 

Acting Assistant Surgeon J. H. Longenecker, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. What is your position in the United States service ? 

Answer. Acting assistant surgeon. 

Question. How long have you been stationed here? 

Answer. Since the 27th of July, 1863. 

Question. Will you state what has been the condition of our paroled prisoners, 
received here from the rebels, during the time you have been stationed here? 

Answer. As a general thing, they have been very much debilitated, ema- 
ciated, and suffering from disease, such as diarrhoea, scurvy, lung diseases, &c. 

Question. In your opinion, as a physician, by what have these diseases been 
pi'oduccd? 

Answer. By exposure and want of prepcr food, I think. 



EETURNED PRISONERS. 21 

Question. Are you able to form any opinion, from the condition of these men, 
as to the quantity and quality of food which they have received? 

Answer. From their appearance and condition, I judge the quality must have 
been very bad, and the quantity very small, not sufficient to preserve the health. 

Question. We have seen and examined several patients here this morning, 
who are but mere skeletons. They have stated to us, as you are aware, that 
their sufferkig arose wholly from the want of proper food and clothing. In 
your opinion as a medical man, are these statements true ? 

Answer. I believe that these statements arc correct. We have had some 
men who looked very well. How they managed to preserve their health I am 
not able to say ; but, as a general thing, the men we receive here are very much 
debilitated, apparently from exposure, and want of sufficient food to keep up 
life and health. 

Question. Are you acquainted with the case of Howard Laedom? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I am. 

Question. Will you state about that case? 

Answer. I did not see the patient until recently, when he was placed in my 
charge. I found him with all his toes gone from one foot in consequence of ex- 
posure. He has suffered from pneumonia, also, produced by exposure, and 
there have been very many cases of pneumonia here, produced by the same 
cause, many of whom have died ; and we have held post mortem examinations 
upon many of them, and found ulcers upon their intestines, some of them being 
ulcerated the whole length of their bowels. 

Question. Have you made many post mortem examinations here? 

Answer. We have made quite a number of them. We make them whenever 
we have an opportunity; whenever bodies are not called for or are not likely to 
be taken away. 

Question. Are you enabled, from these post mortem examinations, to deter- 
mine whether or not these prisoners have had sufficient quantities of proper food? 

Answer. Not from that. Those examinations merely indicate the condition 
in which the prisoners are returned to us. 

Question. From all the indications given by the appearance of these men, are 
you satisfied that their statements, that they have not had sufficient food, both 
in quantity and quality, are true? 

Answer. These statements have been repeated to me very often, and frorrj 
their condition I believe their statement to be true. 

Question. How many paroled prisoners Averc brought here by the last boat? 

Answer. Three hundred and sixty-five, I think. 

Question. In your opinion, how many of these men will recover ? 

Answer. Judging from their present condition, I think that at least one hnn 
dred of them will did 

Question. What, in your opinion, Avill be the primary cause of the death of 
these men? 

Answer. Exposure and want of proper food while prisoners. 

Assistant Surgeon William S. Ely, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Harding : 

Question. What is your position in the service? 

Answer. Assistant surgeon of the United States volunteers and executive 
officer of hospital division No. 1, or Naval Academy hospital. 

Question. Please state the sanitary condition and appearance, &c., of the 
paroled prisoners received here, together with their declarations as to the cause 
of their sickness, and your opinion as to the truth of their statements. 

Answer, I have been on duty in this hospital since October 3, 1863. Since 
that time I have been present on the arrival of the steamer New York on five 



22 EETURNED PRISONERS. 

or six different occasions, when bringing altogether some three or four thousand 
paroled prisoners. I have assisted in unloading these prisoners from the boat, 
and assigning them to quarters in the hospital. I have found them generally 
very much reduced physically, and depressed mentally, the direct result, as I 
think, of the ill-treatment which they have received from the hands of their 
enemies — whether intentional or not I cannot say. I have frequently seen on 
the boat bodies of those who have died while being brought here, and I have 
frequently known them to die while being conveyed from the boat to the hos- 
pital ward. Their condition is such (their whole constitution being undermined) 
that the best of care and medical treatment, and all the sanitary and hygeian 
measures that we can introduce appear to be useless. Their whole assimilative 
functions appear to be impaired. Sledicines and food appear, in many cases, to 
have no effect uj)on them. We have made post mortem examinations repeatedly 
of cases here, and on all occasions we find the system very much reduced, and 
in many cases the muscles almost entirely gone — reduced to nothing literally 
but skin and bone ; the blood vitiated and depraved, and an ancemic condiiton 
of the entire system apparent. The iact that in many cases of post mortems 
we had discovered no organic disease, justifies us in the conclusion that the fatal 
result is owing principallly, if not entirely, to a deprivation of food and other 
articles necessary to support life, and to improper exposure. On all occasions 
when arriving here, these men have been found in the most filthy condition, it 
being almost impossible, in many cases, to clean them by repeated washings. 
The functions of the skin are entirely impaired, and in many cases they are en- 
crusted with dirt, owing, as they say, to being compelled to lie on the sand at 
Belle island ; and the normal function of the skin has not been recovered until 
the cuticle has been entirely throvv'u off. Their bodies are covered with vermin, 
so that it has been found necessary to throw away all the clothing Avhich they 
had on when they arrived here, and provide them entirely with new clothing. 
Their hair has been filled with vermin, so that yve have been obliged to cut 
their hair all off, and make applications to kill the vermin in their heads. Many 
of them state that they have had no opportunity to wash their bodies for six or 
eight months, and have not done so. 

Question. Wliat have been their statements to you in their conversation with 
you? 

Answer. Their reply almost invariably has been, that their condition is the 
result solely of ill-treatment and starvation ; that their rations have consisted of 
corn-bread and cobs ground with corn, of a few beans at times, and now and 
then a little piece of poor meat. Occasionally one is heard to say, that in his 
opinion the rebels are unable to treat them in any better manner; that they 
have been treated as well as possible ; and I have found several Avho stated that 
their physicians were kind to them and did all they could, but complained of 
want of medicines. 

Question. Is it your conclusion, as a physician, that the statements of these 
paroled prisioners, in regard to the treatment they have received, are correct, and 
;hat such treatment Avould produce such conditions of health as you witness 
.imong them upon their arrival here ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and that in many cases their statements fall short of the 
truth, as evinced by the results shown in their physical appearance ; and these 
men are in such a condition that even if they recover, we consider them almost 
entirely unfitted for further active field service — almost as much so, we frequently 
say, as if they had been shot on the field. 

Miss Abbie J. Howe, sworn and examined. 
By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. From what State are you, and V)^hat position do you occupy in this 
hospital ? 



KETUENED PRISONERS. 23 

Answer. I am from Massaclausetts, and am here acting as nurse. 

Question. How long have you been here ? 

Answer. Smce the 15th of September, 1863. 

Question. Have you had charge of the sick and paroled prisoners who hare 
come here during that time ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; some of them. 

Question. How many of them have you had charge of, should you think 1 

Answer. I should think I have had charge of at least 250 who have come 
under my own charge. 

Question. Can you describe to us the general condition of those men ? 

Answer. Almost all of them have had this dreadful cough. I do not think I 
ever heard the like before ; and they have had chronic diarrhoea, very persistent 
indeed. Many of them have a great craving for things which they ought not 
to have. One patient who came in here had the scurvy, and he said : " I can 
eat anything that a dog can eat. Oh, do give me something to eat;" and in their 
delirium they are crying for "bread, bread," and " mother, mother." One of 
them called out for " more James river water to drink." 

Question. What has been their general complaint in regard to their treatment 
while prisoners 1 

Answer. Their chief complaint has been want of food and great exposure. 
Many of them who had clothes sent them by friends or our government, were 
■obliged to sell everything until they were left as destitute as at first, in order 
10 get more food. I have seen some of their rations, and I would myself rather 
eat what I have seen given to cattl'e, than to eat such food as their specimens 
brought here. One man had the typhoid fever, but was in such haste to get 
away from the hospital in Richmond in order to get home, that he would not 
remain there. He had the ravenous appetite which men with typhus fever have; 
and other men told me that they gave him their rations which they could not 
eat themselves. This produced a terrible diarrhoaa, and he lived but a few days 
after he arrived here. 

Question. What has been the physical condition of these, emaciated or other- 
wise ] 

Answer. Just skin and bone. I have never imagined anything before like it. 

Question. Have their statements, in relation to their exposure and depriva- 
tion of food, corresponded entirely with each other 1 

Answer. Yes, sir, entirely so, except those who were able, by Avork, to get 
extra rations ; and those extra rations were not anything like what our men 
have here, but it gave them as much and as good as their guards had ; and they 
Lave not only been treated in this way, but they have been ill-used in almost 
every way. They have told me that when one of them was sitting down, and 
was told to get up, and was not moving c[uickly in consequence of his sickness, 
he was wounded by the rebels in charge. They have often told me that 
they have been kicked and knocked about when unable to move quickly. I 
could give a great many instances of ill-treatment and hardship .5 which have 
been stated to me, but it would take a great deal of time to tell them. 

Rev. H. C. Henries, sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Odell : 
Question. What is your position here 1 
Answer. Chaplain of the hospital. 
Question. Hov.^ long have yor. been here ? 
Answer. I have been on duty since December 7, 1861. 

Question. You are familiar v/ith the facts connected with the condition of 
paroled prisoners arriving here from the south 1 
Answer. Yes, sir. 
Question. Will you state generally what vras their condition ? 



24 EETURNED PRISONERS. 

Answer. I think it would be impossible for me to give any adequate descrip- 
tion, for I think all language fails to fully express their real condition as they 
land here. Their appearance is haggard in the extreme ; ragged, destitute even 
of shoes, and very frequently without pants or blouses, or any covering except 
their drawers and shirts, and perhaps a half a blanket, or something like that ; 
sometimes without hats, and in the most filthy condition that it is possible to 
conceive of either beast or man being reduced to in any circumstances ; unable 
to give either their names, their residence, regiments, or any facts, in consequence 
of their mentd depression, so that I believe the surgeons have found it quite im- 
possible some times to ascertain their relation to the army. Their statements 
agree almost universally in regard to their treatment at the hands of the rebels. 
There have been a very few exceptions, indeed, of those v/ho have stated that 
perhaps their fare was as good as, iinder the circumstances, the rebels were able 
to give them, but the almost universal testimony of these men has been, that they 
were purposely deprived of the comforts and medical care which could have 
been afforded them, in order to render them useless to the army in the future. 
That has been the impression which a great many of them have labored under. 
They have given their testimony in regard to their condition on Belle Isle. 
There were three in one room here not long since, who told me that some eight 
of their comrades died during one or two days, and their bodies were thrown 
out on the banks that enclosed the ground and left there for eight days un- 
buried, and they were refused the privilege of burying their comrades, until, 
the hogs and the dogs had well-nigh eaten up their bodies. Yesterday, one man 
told me that he was so starved, and his hunger had become so intolerable, that 
his eyes appeared to swim in his head, and at times to be almost lost to all con- 
sciousness. Others have stated that they have offered to buy dogs at any price 
for food, of those who came in there ; and one actually said that when a man 
came in there with a dog, and went out without the dog noticing it, they caught 
him and dressed him and roasted him over the fire, over a gas-light, as best 
they could, and then ate it; and, as he expressed it, "it was a precious mite 
to them." Their testimony in regard to the cruelty of the guards and others set 
over them is to the effect that in one instance two comrades in the army together, 
who were taken prisoners together, and remained in the prison together, were 
separated when the prisoners were exchanged. One was returned here and the 
other left. The one who was left went to the window and waved his hand in 
adieu to his comrade, and the guard deliberately shot him through the temple, 
and he fell dead. I mentioned this fact to others of our prisoners here in the 
hospital, and they said that they knew it to be so. Some of them were there 
at the time the man was shot. 

Question. Do you keep any record of the deaths here ? 

Answer. I have not kept a record. I have the official notice of the deaths ; 
but inasmuch as the records are kept at the office, and we have had so many 
other duties crowding upon us — so many deaths here — it has been almost im- 
possible for us to keep any record. I think it is impossible for any description 
to exaggerate the condition of those men. The condition of those here now is 
not so bad, as a class, as some we have received heretofore. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Has the treatment of our prisoners latterly been worse than before^ 
from their testimony 1 

Answer. I think there has been no very material change of late. I think it 
has grown worse from the very first ; but for a year past, I should judge it could 
not be made any worse. 

Question. Just the same thing we now see here? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I would give just another fact in regard to the statements 
made here by large numbers of our returned prisoners. On Belle Isle, their 



EETURNED PRISONERS. 25 

privies were down from tl;o main camp. From 6 o'clock in the morning until 
6 o'clock in the evening ibey were permitted to go to these sinks or privies, 
but from 6 at night until 6 in the morning they were refused the privilege of 
going there, and consequently, so many suffering with diarrhoea, their filth was 
deposited all through their camp. The Avells from which they drew their water 
were sunk in the sand around through their camp, and you can judge what the 
effect of that has been. Some of these prisoners, soon after they were put on 
Belle Isle, not knowing the regulations there, and suffering from chronic diar- 
rhoea, when making the attempt to go down to these privies after 6 o'clock at 
night, were shot down in cold blood by the guards, without any warniu-g what- 
ever. Several such instances have been stated to me by parties who have 
arrived here. 

ByMr.Odell: 

Question, You make these statements from the testimony of prisoners received 
here? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; from testimony that I have the most perfect confidence in. 
Men have stated these things to me in the very last hours of their lives. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Were they conscious of their condition at the time they made their 
statements 1 

Answer. Yes, sir; I think they were perfectly conscious; yet there is one 
thing which is very remarkable, that is, these men retain their hope of life up 
to the hour of dying. They do not give up. There is another thing I would 
wish to state : all the men, without any exception, among the thousands that 
have come to this hospital, have never, in a single instance, expressed a regret 
(notwithstanding the privations and sufferings that they have endured) that they 
entered their country's service. They have been the most loyal, devoted, and 
earnest men. Even on the last days of their lives they have said that all they 
hoped for was just to live and enter the ranks again and meet their foes. It is 
a most glorious record in reference to the devotion of our men to their country. 
I do not think their patriotism has ever been equalled in the history of the 
world. 

The committee then proceeded, by steamer, from Annapolis to Baltimore, and 
visited the "West Hospital," and saw the patients there. As they presented 
the same reduced and debilitated appearance as those they had already seen at 
Annapolis, and in conversation gave the same account of their treatment at the 
hands of the rebels, the committee concluded their examination by taking merely 
the testimony of the surgeon and chaplain of the hospital. 

"West Hospital," Baltimore, Md., May 6, 1864. 

Dr. Wm. G. Knowles, sworn and examined. 
By the chairman : 

Question. Will you state whether you are in the employment of the govern- 
ment ; and if so, in what capacity ? 

Answer. I am, and have been for nearly three years, a contract physician in 
the "West Hospital," Baltimore. 

Question. Have you received any of the returned Union prisoners, from Rich- 
mond, in your hospital ? 

Answer. We have received those we have here how; no others 

Question. How many have you received ? 

Answer. We have received 105. 

Question. When did you receive them ? 



26 EETUENED PRISONERS. 

Answer. Two weeks ago last Tuesday. On tlie 19th of April. 

Question. Will you state the condition those prisoners were in when they 
were received here 1 

Answer. They were all very emaciated men, as you have seen here to-day, 
only more so than they appear to be now. They were very emaciated and 
feeble, suffering chiefly from diarrhoea, many of them having, in connexion with 
that, bronchial and similar affections. From the testimony given to me by these 
men I have no doubt their condition was the result of exposure and — I was 
about to say starvation ; but it was, perhaps, hardly starvation, for they had 
something to eat; but I will say, a deficient supply of food and of a proper 
kind of food ; and when I say " exposure," perhaps that would not be sufficiently 
definite. All with whom I have conversed have stated that those who were on 
Belle Isle were kept there even as late as December with nothing to protect 
them but such little clothing as was left them by their captors ; with no blankets, 
no overcoats, no tents, nothing to cover them, nothing to protect them ; and thai 
their sleeping-place Avas the ground — the sand. 

Question. What would you, as a physician of experience, aside from the 
statements of these returned prisoners, say was the cause of their condition 1 

Answer. I should judge it was as they have stated. Diarrhoea is a very 
common form of disease among them, and from all the circumstances I have 
every reason to believe that it is owing to exposure and the want of proper 
nourishment. Some of them tell me that they received nothing but two small 
pieces of corn-bread a day. Some of them suppose (how true that may be I do 
not know) that that bread was made of corn ground with the cobs. I have not 
seen any of it to examine it. 

Question. How many have died of the number you have received here 1 

Ansv/er. Already twenty-nine have died, and you have seen one who is now 
dying ; and five were received here dead, who died on their way from Fortress 
Monroe to Baltimore. 

Question. How many of them were capable of walking into the hospital ? 

Answer. Only one ; the others were brought here from the boat on stretchers, 
put on the dumb-waiter, and lifted right up to their rooms, and put on their 
beds. And I would state another thing in regard to these men : when they 
were received here they were filthy, dirty, and lousy in the extreme, and we 
had considerable trouble to get them clean. Every man who could possibly 
stand it we took and placed in a warm bath and held him up while he was 
washed, and we threw away all their dirty clothing, providing them with that 
which was clean. 

Question. What was the condition of their clothing 1 

Answer. Very poor, indeed. I should say the clothing was very much worn, 
although I did not examine it closely, as that was not so much a matter of 
investigation with ns as was their physical condition. Their heads were filled 
vntli vermin, so mucli so that we had to cut off their hair and make applications 
to destroy the vermin. 

Question. What portion of those you have received here do you suppose arc 
finally curable ? 

Answer. We shall certainly lose one-third of- them; and we have been in- 
clined to think that, sooner or later, we should lose one-half of them. 

Question. Will the constitutions of those who survive be permanently injured, 
or Avill they entirely recover 1 

Answer. I think the constitutions of the greater part of them will be seriously 
impaired ; that they will never become strong and healthy again. 

Question. What account have these men given you as to the comparative 
conditicii of those left behind 1 Did the rebels send the best or the poorest of 
our prisoners ? 



RETURNED PRISONERS. 27 

Answer. I could not tell that ; I have never inquired. But I should presume 
\.h<'j must have sent the wor,-;t they had. 

Question. You have had charge of confederate sick and wounded, Iiave you 
nof? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; a large numher of them. This v/as the receiving hospital 
for those from Gettysburg. 

Question. What was the treatment they received from us 1 

Answer. We consider that we treated them with the greatest kindness and 
humanity; precisely as we treated our own men. That, has been our rule oi' 
conduct. We gave them the very best the hospital would afford ; and not ^^idy 
what properly belonged to the hospital, but delicacies and luxuries of every 
kind were furnished them by the hospital, and by outside sympathizers, wli'j 
were permitted to send delicacies to them. 

Question. It has been stated in many of the rebel newspapers that our pris- 
oners are treated the same and fed Avith the same rations as their soldiers in the 
field. In your judgment, as a physician would it be possible for their soldiers 
to retain their health and energy if fed as'our prisoners have been? 

AusAver. No, sir ; it would be impossible ; multitudes of them would have 
died imder such treatment. 

Question. I do not knoAV as 1 desire to question you further. Is there any- 
thing more you desire to state ? 

Answer. I do not know that there is ; it is all in a nut-shell. 

By Mr. Oclell : 

Question. Is not the disease as evinced among those men clearly defined as 
resulting from exposure and privations, and want of proper food and nourish- 
ment 1 

Answer. That is our decided opinion as medical men ; the opinion of all of 
us who have had anything to do witli these men. 

By Mr. Gsodi : 

Question. The condition of all these men appears to be about the same. Is 
there really any diffe'rencc in their condition except in degree ? 

Answer. I think th;it is all. Some men have naturally stronger constitutions 
than others, and can bear more than others. That is the way I account for the 
difference. 

By Mr. Odell : 
Question. Are the minds of any of them affected permanently? 
Answer. We have had two or three whose intellect is very feeble ; some of 
them are almost like children in that respect. 

Question. Do you think that grows out of the treatment they have received 'i 
Answer. I think the same cause produced that as the other. 

By the chairman : 
Question. Is not that one of the symptoms attendant upon starvation, Uiar, 
men are likely to become deranged or idiotic ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; more like derangement than what we call idiocy 

By Mr. Gooch : 

Question. Can those men whose arms you bared and held up to us — mere 
skeletons, nothing but skin and bone — -can those men recover ? 

Answer. They may; we think that some of them are iu an improving con- 
dition. But we have to be extremely cautions how we Ibcd them. If we give 
them a little excess of food under these circumstances ihey would be almost 
certain to be seriously and injuriously affected by it,. 



28 RETURNED PRISONERS 

Question. It is your opinion, you have Ptatecl, that these men have beeik 
reduced to this condition by want of food 1 

Answer. It is ; want of food and exposure are the original causes. That has^^ 
produced diarrhoea and other diseases as a natural consequence, and they have 
aided the original cause and reduced them to their present condition. I should 
like the country and the government to know the facts about these men ; I da 
not think they can realize it until the facts are made known to them. I think 
the rebels have determined upon the policy of starving their prisoners, just as 
much as the murders at Fort Pillow were a part of their policy. 

Rev. J. T. Van Burkalow, sworn and examined. 

By the chairman : 

Question. What is your connexion with this hospital ? 

Answer. I am the chaplain of the hospital. 

Question. How long have you been acting in that capacity 1 

Answer. I have been connected with the hospital in that capacity ever since 
the 20th of October, 1862. 

Question. What has been your opportunity of knowing the condition of our 
returned prisoners ? 

Answer. I have mingled with them and administered unto them ever since- 
they have been here, night and day. I have written, I suppose, something like 
a hundred letters for them to their relatives and friends, since they arrived here. 

Question. Have you attended them when they were dying ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. And conversed with them about their condition, and the manner 
in which they have been brought to that condition ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I have. 

Question. Please tell us what you have ascertained from them. 

Answer. The general story I have gotten from them was to the effect that 
when captured, and before they got to Richmond, they would generally be 
robbed of theii- clothing, their good United States uniforms, even to their shoes 
and hats taken from them, and if anything was given to them in place of them, 
they would receive only old worn-out confederate clothing. Sometimes they 
were sent to Belle Isle with nothing on but old pants and shirts. They generally 
had their money taken from them, often with the promise of its return, but 
that promise was never fulfilled. They were placed on Belle Isle, as I have 
said, some with nothing on but pants and shirts, some with blouses, but they 
were seldom allowed to have an overcoat or a blanket. There they remained 
for weeks, some of them for six or eight weeks, without any tents or any kind 
of covering. 

Question. What time of the year was this ? 

Answer. All along from September down to December, as a general thing, 
through the latter part of the fall. There they remained for weeks without any 
tents, without blankets, and in many instances without coats, exposed to the 
rain and snow, and all kinds of inclement weather. And where some of them 
had tents, they were old worn-out army tents, full of holes and rents, bo that 
they are very poor shelters indeed from the storms. I have been told by several 
of them that several times, upon getting tip in the morning, they would find six 
or eight of their number frozen to death. There are men here now who have 
had their toes frozen off there. They have said that they have been compelled 
to get up during the night and walk rapidly back and forth to keep from, dying 
from the cold. 

Question. What do they say in regard to the food furnished them 1 

Answer. They represent that as being very little in quantity, and of the 
very poorest quality, being but a snaall piece of corn-bread, about three inches 



EETURNED PRISONERS. 29 

■square, made of meal ground very coarsely — some of them suppose made of 
corn and cobs all ground up together — and that bread was baked and cut up 
and sent to them in such a manner that a great deal of it would be crumbled 
■off and lost. Sometimes they would get a very small piece of meat, but that 
meat very poor, and sometimes for days they would receive no meat at all. 
.And sometimes they would receive a very small quantity of what they call rice- 
-water — that is, water with a few grains of rice in it. 

Question. You have heard their statements separately 1 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Do they all agree in the same general statement as to their treat- 
ment ? 

Answei*. Yes, sirj they do. 

Question. How were they clothed when they arrived here 1 

Answer. They were clothed very poorly indeed, with old worn-out filthy 
garments, full of vermin. 

Question. What was their condition and apperance as to health when they 
arrived here 1 * 

Answer. They looked like living skeletons — that is about the best description 
I can give of them — very weak and emaciated. 

Question. Have you ever seen men at any time or place so emaciated as these 
are — so entirely destitute of flesh ? 

Answer. I think I have a few times, but very rarely ; I have known men to 
become very emaciated by being for weeks affected with chronic diarrhoea, or 
something of that kind. But the chronic diarrhoea, and liver diseases, and lung 
affections, which those men now have, I understand to have been superinduced 
by the treatment to which they have been subjected; their cruel and merci- 
less treatment and exposvire to inclement weather without any shelter or suffi- 
cient clothing or food, reducing them literally to a state of starvation. 

Question. Could any of them walk when they arrived here ? 

Answer. I think there was but one who could make out to walk ; the rost we 
liad to carry into the hospitals on stretchers. 
ByMr. Odell: 

Question. Did these men make these statements in their dying condition ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

By the chairman : 

Question. Were the persons who made these statements conscious of approach- 
ing dissolution] 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I know of no particular cases where they spoke of these 
things when they were right on the borders of death ; but they made them before, 
when they were aware of their condition. 

Question. So that you have no reason to doubt that they told the exact truth, 
or intended to do so ? 

Answer. None whatever. There has been such a unanimity of testimony oa 
that point, that I cannot entertain the shadow of a doubt. 

Question. And their statements were corroborated by their appearance? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. You have had under your charge and attention confederate sick 
and wounded, have you not? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How have they been treated ? 

Answer. In my judgment they have been treated just as well as any of our 
own men ever were treated. In fact, they have got better treatment than our 
men did formerly, for the reason that, in addition to what we have given them 
— and we have tried to treat them just as we would have them treat our men — 



30 EETUENED PRISONERS. 

in addition to that, wi; have allowed the rebel sympathizers of Baltimo^ to bring 
them, every day, delicacies in abundance. 

Question. Were these rebel sympathizers bountiful to them in that line 1 

Answer. Yes, sir, very. 

Question. What has been the feeling evinced by our returned prisoners, after 
having received such treatment, in regard to having entered the service ? Have 
they ever expressed any regret that they entered our army ? 

Answer. As a general thing, they have not. In fact, I have heard but one 
express a different sentiment. He was a mere youth, not more than 16 or 17 
years of age now. His feet were badly frozen. He remarked that he had re- 
gretted, even long before he got to Richmond, that he entered the service. But 
I have heard a number of them declare that if they were so fortunate as to 
recover their health and strength, they should be glad to return to the service, and 
still fight for their country. 

Question. They then bear their misfortunes bravely and patriotically 1 

Answer. Yes, sir, they do. 

Question. And without complaining of their government? 

Answer. Yes, sir, without complaining of their fate, except so far as to blame 
their merciless enemies. 



DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, DISTRICT OF MEMPHIS. 
Deposition of John Nelson in relation to the capture of Fort Pillow. 

Evidence Department, 

Provost Marshal's Office. 

John Nelson, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith : 

At the time of the attack on and capture of Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864, I 
kept a hotel within the lines at Fort Pillow, and a short distance from the 
works. Soon after the alann was given that an attack on the fort was immi- 
nent, I entered the works and tendered my services to Major Booth, command- 
ing. The attack began in the morning at about 5J o'clock, and about one 
o'clock p. m. a flag of truce approached. During the parley which ensued, 
and while the firing ceased on both sides, the rebels kept crowding up to the 
works on the side near Cold creek, and also approached nearer on the south 
side, thereby gaining advantages pending the conference under the flag of truce. 
As soon as the flag of truce was withdrawn the attack began, and about five 
minutes after it began the rebels entered the fort. Our troops were soon over- 
powered, and broke and fled. A large number of the soldiers, black and white, 
and also a few citizens, myself among the number, rushed down the bluff 
towards ttie river. I concealed myself as well as I could in a position where I 
could distinctly see all that passed below the bluff, for a considerable distance 
up and down the river. 

A large number, at least one hundred, were hemmed in near the river bank 
by bodies of the rebels coming from both north and south. Most all of those 
thus hemmed in were without arms. I saw many soldiers, both white and 
black, throw up their arms in token of surrender, and call out that they had 
surrendered. The rebels would reply, " God damn you, why didn't you sur- 
render before?" and shot them down like dogs. 

The rebels oommeuced an indiscriminate slaughter. Many colored soldiers 



EETURNED PRISONERS. 31 

sprang into the river and tried to escape by swimming, but these were invariably 
shot dead. 

A short distance from me, and within view, a number of our wounded had 
been pLaced, and near where Major Booth's body Lay ; and a small red flag 
indicated that at that place our wounded were placed. The rebels, however 
as they passed these wounded men, fired right into them and struck them with 
the buts of their muskets. 

The cries for mercy and groans which arose from the poor fellows were 
heartrending. 

Thinking that if I should be discovered, I would be killed, I emerged from 
my hiding place, and, approaching the nearest rebel, I told him I was a citizen. 
He said, "You are in bad company, G — d d n you; out with your green- 
backs, or I'll shoot you." I gave him all the money I had, and under his con- 
voy I went up into the fort again. 

When I re-entered the fort there was still some shooting going on. I heard 
a rebel officer tell a soldier not to kill any more of those negroes. He said 
that they would all be killed, any way, wteu they were tried. 

JOHN NELSON. 

Mr. Nelson further states : 

After I entered the fort, and after the United States flag had been taken 
down, the rebels held it up in their hands in the presence of their officers, and 
thus gave the rebels outside a chance to still continue their slaughter, and I did 
not notice that any rebel officer forbade the holding of it up. I also further state, 
to the best of my knowledge and information, that there were not less than 
three hundred and sixty negroes killed and two hundred whites. 

This I give to the best of my knowledge and belief. 

JOHN NELSON 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 2d day of May, A. D. 1864. 

J. D. LLOYD, 
Captain IXth Infantry, Mo. Vols., and 

Ass'nt Provost Marshal, Dist. of Memphis. 



Statement of Frank Hogan, corporal in company A, Q)th United States heavy 

artillery, (colored.) 

I, Frank Hogan, a corporal in company A, of the 6th United States heavy 
artillery, (colored,) would, on oath, state the following : That I was in the battle 
fought at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on the (12th) twelfth day of April, A. D. 
(1864,) one thonsand eight hundred and sixty-four, and that I was taken prisoner 
by the enemy, and I saw Captain Carson, and heard some of the enemy ask 
him if he belonged to a nigger regiment. He told them he did. They asked 
him how he came here. He told them he was detailed there. Then they told 
him they woidd give him a detail, and immediately shot him dead, after being a 
prisoner without arms. I also saw^ two lieutenants, whose names I did not 
know^ but who belonged to the (13th) Thirteenth Tennessee cavalry, shot down 
after having been taken prisoners. I also saw them kill three sick men that 
were lying helpless in their tents. 

I saw them make our men (colored) pull the artillery, whipping them at the 
same time in the most shameful manner. 

I also saw them bury one of our men alive, being only wounded. I heard 



.32 EETUENED PRISONERS. 

Colonel McCullougli, Confederate States army, ask his adjutant how many meu 
were killed and wounded. The adjutant told him he had a list of three hundred, 
and that all the reports were not in yet. Colonel McCullough was commanding 
a brigade. I also heard a captain, Confederate States ai-my, tell Colonel Mc- 
Cullough, Confederate States army, that ten men were killed out of his own com- 
pany. 

FRANK X HOGAN. 

mark. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of April, 1864, at Fort 
Pickering, Memphis, Tennessee. 

MALCOM F. SMITH, 
First Lieutenant and Adjutant 6th U. S. Heavy Artillery., (colored.) 

A true copy. 

J. H. ODLIN, 

Captain and Assistant Adjutant General 



Statement of Wilbur H. Gaylord, first sergeant, company B, 6th United States 
heavy artillery, (colored. J 

Fort Pickering, Tennessee, April 28, 1864. 

I was in the battle fought at Fort Pillow on the 12th day of April, A. D. 
1864. The engagement commenced about six and a half o'clock a. m. I was 
stationed about twenty rods outside the fort with twenty men in a southeast 
direction, (this was about six and a half o'clock a. m.,) with orders from Major 
S. F. Booth to hold the position as long as possible without being captured. I 
staid there with the men about one hour. While there the rebels came within 
thirty rods and tried to steal horses. They got two horses, and at the same 
time stuck a rebel flag on the fortifications. While I held this position the 
white men on my right (13th Tennessee cavalry) retreated to the fort. About 
ten minutes after this I went with my men to the fort. While going into the 
fort I saw Lieutenant Barr, 13th Tennessee cavalry, shot down by my side. 
He was shot through the head. He fell outside the fortifications, about six feet. 
Ten minutes after getting into the fort Major S. F. Booth was shot at porthole 
No. 2, while standing directly in the rear of the gun; was shot directly through 
the heart ; expired instantly. I carried him to the bank of the river. As soon 
as I returned Captain Epcneter, company A, was wounded in the head while 
standing afe porthole No. 4. He immediately went to the hospital, which was 
below the river bank — about half way down, I should think. Ten men were 
killed before a flag of truce came in, which was about twelve o'clock m. Five 
men, who were all dressed alike, came with the flag from the rebels, and Major 
Bradford, of 13th Tennessee cavalry, who had now assumed command, asked 
one hour to consider ; on the conclusion of which, he returned a decided refusal. 
The fire on both sides now commenced, aud was kept up about half an hour 
with great fury, when the rebels charged over the works. (I should have said 
that General Forrest came with the flag.) The enemy was checked and held 
for a few minutes. As soon as they were fairly on the works, I was wounded 
with a musket ball through the right ankle. I should think that two hundred 
rebels passed over the works, and passed by me while 1 lay there, when @ne 
rebel noticed that I was alive, shot at me again and missed me. I told him I 
was wounded, and tho.t I would surrender, when a Texan ranger stepped up 



RETURNED PRISONERS. 33 

and took me prisoner. Just at this time I saw them shoot down three black 
men, who were begging for their life, and who had surrendered. The rebels 
now helped me through porthole No. 4. The ranger who took me captured a 
colored soldier, whom he sent with me. He also sent a guard. They took 
me to picket post No. 2. There I was put into an ambulance and taken to a 
farm-house with one of their dead, who was a chaplain. There I was made 
to lie out doors all night on account of the houses being filled with their 
wounded. I bandaged my own wound with my drawers, and a colored man 
brought water and sat by me so that I could keep my foot wet. Next 
morning Colonel McCullough came there and sent a squad of men, having 
pressed all the conveyances he could find to take away his own wounded. Not 
finding sufiicient, nor having negroes enough, they made stretchers from blan- 
kets. They could not carry me, and so left me at the farm-house ; the man's 
name was Stone. He got me into the house and into bed. He and his wife 
were very kind to me. While Colonel McCullough was there he told me Mem- 
phis, Tennessee, was probaby in the hands of the rebels. The rear guard of 
the rebels left there Wednesday about 5 o'clock p. m. The rebels took a young 
man whose father lived near here, and who had been wounded in the fight, to 
the woods, and shot three more shots into his back and into his head, and left 
him until Friday morning, when the citizens took him in. They brought him 
to the house where I was, and then carried us both to Fort Pillow in an old 
cart that they fixed up for the occasion, in hopes of getting us on board 
of a gunboat. 

Upon our arrival there a gunboat lay on the opposite bank, but we could not hail 
her. We laid on the bank. They took the young man back to a house, three- 
fourths of a mile, but I would not go back. I laid there until a gunboat, the 
Silver Cloud, took me ofi", about 2 o'clock a. m., Saturday. They treated me 
with the utmost kindess on board the boat. 

WILBUR H. GAYLORD, 
Isi Sergeant, Co. B, 6t7t U. S. Heavy Artillenj, 1st Battalion, [colored.) 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of April, 1864, at Fort 
Pickering, Memphis, Tennessee. 

MALCOM F. SMITH, 
1st Lieutenant and Adjutant 6t7i U. S. Heavy Artillery, (colored.) 

A true copy. 

J. H. ODLIN, 
Captain and A. A. G. 



Statement of James Lewis, private, company C, 6tk United States lieavy 

artillery, [colored.) 

I, James Lewis, private, company C, 6th United States heavy artillery, 
(colored,) would, on oath, state the following : I was in the battle fought at Fort 
Pillow, Tennessee, on the 12th day of April, A, D, 1864. The engagement 
commenced early in the morning and lasted until three o'clock p. m. same day, 
at which time the enemy carried the fort. The United States troops took 
refuge under the bank of the river. The officers all being killed or wounded, 
the men raised the white flag and surrendered, but the rebels kept on firing 
until most all the men were shot down. I was wounded and knocked down 
with the but of a musket and left for dead, after being robbed, and they cut the 
buttons off" my jacket. I saw two women shot by the river bank and their 
bodies thrown into the river after the place was taken. I saw Frank Meek, 

Rep. Com. 68 3 



34 EETUENED PEISONERS. 

company B, Gtli United States heavy artillery, (colored,) shot after he had 
surrendered. 

JAMES + LEWIS. 

mark. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of April, 1864, at Fort 
Pickering, Memphis, Tennessee. 

MALCOM F. SMITH, 
Is;; Lieutenant and Adjutant Qt/i U. S. Heavy Artillery, {colored.) 
A true copy. 

J. H. ODLIN, 
Captain and A. A. G. 
I This evidence was received after the regular edition was printed.] 



P. S. Since the report of the committee was prepared for the press, the fol- 
lowing letter from the surgeon in charge of the returned prisoners was received 
by the chairman of the committee : 

West's Buildings Hospital, 

Baltimore, Md., May 24, 18G4. 
Dear Sir : I have the honor to enclose the photograph of John Breinig, 
with the desired information written upon it. I am very sorry your committee 
could not have seen these cases when first received. No one, from these pic- 
tures, can form a true estimate of their condition then. Not one in ten was able 
to stand alone; some of them so covered and eaten by vermin that they 
nearly resembled cases of small-pox, and so emaciated that they were really 
living skeletons, and hardly tliat, as the result shows, forty out of one hundred 
and four having died up to this date. 

If there has been anything so horrible, so fiendish, as this wholesale starva- 
tion, in the history of this Satanic rebellion, I have failed to note it. Better the 
massacres at Lawrence, Fort Pillow, and Plymouth than to be thus starved to 
death by inches, through long and weary months. I wish I had possessed the 
power to compel all the northern sympathizers with this rebellion to come in 
and look upon the work of the chivalrous sons of the hospitable and sunny 
south when these skeletons were first received here. A rebel colonel, a prisoner 
here, who stood with sad face looking on as they were received, finally shook 
his head and walked away, apparently ashamed that he held any relations to 
men who could be guilty of such deeds. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

A. CHAPEL. 
Hon. B. P. Wade, 

Chairman of Committee on the Conduct of the "War, Senate U. S. 



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